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COOK OF THE WEEK - ZUCCHINI RECIPES

A relative newcomer to America, the zucchini squash has proved itself to be a very versatile vegetable that can be used in side and main dishes as well as in breads and desserts. The zucchini is a member of the melon and cucumber family. Although zucchini has been eaten in South and Central America for years, the variety of summer squash that is familiar was developed in Italy. The name zucchini comes from the Italian term “zucchino” meaning small squash. It has only been in the last 30 years that zucchini has become well-known and a favorite of gardeners in the United States. homecooking.about.com
My mother, Margaret Raber, was an excellent cook and in the later years coaxed dad into trying some of the new recipes that she heard on the radio or saw on the television cooking shows (Julia Child and Graham Kerr—the “Galloping Gourmet”). So our family was introduced to zucchini probably about as soon as it was becoming popular in the Midwest, and dad added it to his garden soon after.
Mom introduced zucchini to friends and they decided that the next year they would include it in their garden as well. Not knowing that zucchini are a very prolific plant, they planted a few HILLS of them. Needless to say, they had more zucchini than they needed; and after using as much as they wanted, and giving as much as they could away, they still had quite a bit. (This was before the versatility of the vegetable was fully known.) That was the only time they planted zucchini.
Here are some recipes to show just how versatile this vegetable is:

Stuffed Zucchini
LTHASKINS, allrecipes.com
3 zucchini
1 pound pork sausage
1 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 clove garlic, minced
32 ounce jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Trim stems from zucchini and slice lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and put in bowl. Mix seeds with sausage, garlic, breadcrumbs, and Parmesan cheese. Stuff squash with sausage mixture and place in 9x13 inch baking pan. Pour sauce over squash and cover pan with foil.
Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until sausage is cooked. Remove foil and cover with mozzarella cheese. Cook until cheese is melted. Makes 4 servings.

Zucchini Patties
Sherlie A. Magaret,
allrecipes.com
2 cups grated zucchini
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
cheese
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
In a medium bowl, combine the zucchini, eggs, onion, flour, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, and salt. Stir well enough to distribute ingredients evenly.
Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Drop zucchini mixture by heaping tablespoonful, and cook for a few minutes on each side until golden. Makes 12 patties.
It would be remiss not to include a recipe for Ratatouille as it is a dish made with not only zucchini but many vegetables. If you remember, this was a “comfort food” from his childhood for the food critic in the movie of the same name.

Ratatouille
Lynette Marie, allrecipes.com
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch
cubes
Salt to taste
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 zucchini, sliced
1 large onion, sliced into rings
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 green bell pepper, sliced
2 large tomatoes, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat bottom and sides of a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir garlic until lightly browned. Mix in parsley and eggplant. Cook and stir until eggplant is soft, about 10 minutes. Season with salt to taste.
Spread eggplant mixture evenly across bottom of prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle with a few tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Spread zucchini in an even layer over top. Lightly salt and sprinkle with a little more cheese. Continue layering in this fashion, with onion, mushrooms, bell pepper, and tomatoes, covering each layer with a sprinkling of salt and cheese.
Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes. Makes four servings.

Cheesy Squash and Zucchini Casserole
HALR9000, allrecipes.com
1 pound yellow squash, sliced
1 pound zucchini, sliced
1/2 onion, diced
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup biscuit baking mix
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
10 saltine crackers, or as needed, crushed
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a rolling boil. Add yellow squash, zucchini, and onion; bring back to a boil, and cook vegetables until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and transfer vegetables to a large bowl.
Mix Cheddar cheese, baking mix, butter, eggs, sugar, and salt with the cooked vegetables using a large spoon; stir until butter has melted and baking mix has dissolved. Fold crushed crackers into the mixture until the liquid has been absorbed. Pour mixture into a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish; top with breadcrumbs.
Bake in the preheated oven until topping is lightly browned and cheese is melted, 30 minutes. Makes 8 servings.

Zucchini Scramble
tasteofhome.com
2 to 3 small zucchini (about 1
pound), sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper to taste
6 to 8 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Tomato wedges, optional
In a skillet, sauté zucchini and onion in butter until tender. Season with salt and pepper. Add the eggs; cook and stir until set. Sprinkle with cheese. Remove from the heat; cover until cheese melts. Serve with tomato wedges if desired. Yield: 4-6 servings.

Zucchini Cornbread
tasteofhome.com
6 eggs
3 cups shredded zucchini
1-1/2 cups 4 percent cottage
cheese
1 cup butter, melted
2 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, beat eggs. Stir in the zucchini, cottage cheese and butter. Combine the dry ingredients; stir into zucchini mixture just until combined. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan.
Bake at 400° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 16-20 servings.

Baked Zucchini Chips
KRISRIZZIO, allrecipes.com
2 medium zucchini, cut into
1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup seasoned dry bread
crumbs
1/8 teaspoon ground black
pepper
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
cheese
2 egg whites
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C). In one small bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, pepper and Parmesan cheese. Place the egg whites in a separate bowl. Dip zucchini slices into the egg whites, then coat the breadcrumb mixture. Place on a greased baking sheet. Makes 4 servings.

Pineapple Zucchini Bread
tasteofhome.com
2 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground Tone’s®
ground cinnamon
1-1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
2 cups shredded zucchini
8 ounce crushed pineapple,
undrained
Preheat oven to 350°. In a bowl, beat eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients; stir into egg mixture just until moistened. Fold in zucchini and pineapple. Pour into two greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pans.
Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Yield: 2 loaves.

Chocolate-Zucchini Cupcakes
jen, allrecipes.com
(2) 1 ounce squares
unsweetened chocolate,
melted
3 eggs
1-3/4 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups grated zucchini
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
16 ounce package chocolate
frosting
1/2 cup walnut halves
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a large bowl, beat eggs with sugar for about 10 minutes or until thickened and pale. Blend oil and cooled chocolate into the beaten egg mixture.
In a small bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir flour mixture into egg mixture until just blended. Stir in zucchini and chopped nuts. Using an ice-cream scoop, spoon batter into 24 paper-lined or greased muffin cups, filling the cups 2/3 full.
Bake for 20 minutes or until fork or toothpick inserted in a cupcake’s center comes out clean. Let cool in pans on rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans; let cool completely. Spread with chocolate frosting and garnish with walnut or pecan halves.

Zucchini Cobbler
Don, allrecipes.com
8 cups peeled, chopped zucchini
2/3 cup lemon juice
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
1-1/2 cups butter, chilled
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook and stir zucchini and lemon juice until zucchini is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and nutmeg and cook one minute more. Remove from heat and set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 10x15 inch baking dish. In a large bowl, combine flour and 2 cups sugar. Cut in butter with pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir 1/2 cup of butter mixture into zucchini mixture. Press half of remaining butter mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Spread zucchini mixture over top of crust, and sprinkle remaining butter mixture over zucchini. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until top is golden. Serve warm or cold.
The COOK OF THE WEEK 3rd Edition Cookbook is available. Cost per copy is $10.70, plus $4.80 shipping/handling. Order a copy today by sending a check or money order, along with name and shipping address, to: Humboldt Independent, 512 Sumner Ave., Humboldt, IA 50548.