Every summer, round about mid July, I find myself wondering why I planted three zucchini plants instead of one. Then I remember the time my squash vines were killed off by a malignant fungus and how bereft I was to be zucchini-less that year. I deeply missed my annual fret-fest about "all that zucchini"; the ritual slog through cook books and internet newsletters/blogs for some creative new zucchini recipe. That fungus taught me to be grateful for the zucchini onslaught.
Each year, I usually try at least one new zucchini recipe. For 2013, it is a zucchini casserole. My son Micah, who was just visiting from NYC for the weekend with his girlfriend Nhat, said the casserole was great, but I think he enjoyed it because it had so much cheese in it. I thought the casserole was so-so. I guess I need to go back to my tried and true, outstanding standards which freeze well and taste great right off the stove or out of the oven.Here are a couple of my favorite zucchini recipes.
Zucchini Bread (I have been asked for this recipe countless times )
1 cup veg. oil
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brn. sugar
2 cups shredded zucchini
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 350. Combine first 5 ingredients in a mixer. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer starting with salt, soda and powder. Add flour last and blend well.
Pour into 2 greased loaf pans and sprinkle sesame seeds over the top of each loaf - covering all the batter with a thin layer. Bake for 1 hour. (I often double this recipe. The bread freezes really well. We have zucchini bread and yogurt for breakfast all winter long, yum.)
Tuscan Zucchini Soup with Mint
1/4 cup virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped red onion
1 lb. russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4" dice
4- 5 cups chicken stock
salt to taste
3 lbs zucchini cut into 1/2" dice
10 fresh mint leaves, or more to taste (I use 15 big ones)
10 fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
In a soup pot, over med. heat, warm half the oil. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 min. Stir in the potatoes. After 2 min., add the chicken stock...enough to just cover the vegetables. Simmer for 10 min., then add zucchini and an additional 1/2 cup stock to cover. Continue simmering until zucchini is cooked through, about 5 min. Remove from the heat and add the herbs. Puree in batches or all at once with an immersion blender. Use the remaining olive oil to keep the soup from becoming too thick. Serve immediately or freeze. Serves 6
Please feel free to share your successful zucchini recipes!