Saturday, August 18, 2007

The many uses for zucchini

We've been receiving a lot of zucchini in our last couple CSA boxes. It is incredibly sweet on its own, and most of the time we've just sliced it and tossed it into a frying pan with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper. When I've felt more creative, this is what I've managed to concoct!

Spicy Zucchini Sandwiches (from


1 Tbsp red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp minced garlic or about 1/2 garlic head
1-2 tsp of olive oil
dash of salt (or more to taste)
1 large zucchini
lettuce (romaine or leaf)
onions or scallions
ciabatta bread

1. To prepare sauté, add red pepper flakes, minced garlic, olive oil and salt to heated sauté pan. Sauté for a couple of minutes (I recommend you cover pot or the red pepper may make you cough a bit.)
2. To prepare zucchini, cut into thick half-inch strips lengthwise. Steam until tender. (optional: coat with breadcrumbs). Pan fry with seasoned sauté for 3 minutes or until lightly brown; make sure you flip them to coat with seasoned sauté.
3. Assemble sandwich using ciabatta bread or thick crusty rolls. Add fresh tomatoes, romaine or leaf lettuce and onions or chopped scallions.

I didn't have either ciabatta bread or crusty rolls, so I toasted a kaiser roll in the broiler. It tasted wonderful!

Zucchini Bread (straight from my Betty Crocker Cookbook)


3 cups shredded zucchini (2 to 3 medium)
1 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
3 cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts
1/2 cup raisins, if desired

1. Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottoms only of 2 (8x4-inch) loaf pans or 1 (9x5-inch) loaf pan with shortening or cooking spray.
2. In large bowl, stir zucchini, sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs until well mixed. Stir in remaining ingredients except nuts and raisins. Stir in nuts and raisins. Divide batter evenly between 8-inch pans or pour into 9-inch pan.
3. Bake 8-inch loaves 50 to 60 minutes, 9-inch loaf 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on cooling rack 10 minutes.
4. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans and place top side up on cooling rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Heat oven to 375°F.

I should note that because I only have one bread pan (I used to have two, but the other has mysteriously disappeared), I ended up running the oven twice as long because I cook only one half of the dough at a time. Not a wise use of my fossil fuels, I'm afraid.

Grilled Zucchini (2 servings)


Zucchini 12-14 inches long, sliced in slices 1/2 to 5/8 inch thick.
Olive oil (just enough to coat the zucchini lightly)
1 tsp. garlic powder or garlic puree
1 -2 tsp. dried oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, or a combination (dried works best when grilling, I've found)

1. Cut zucchini into slices, making sure the slices are the same thickness. Combine olive oil with garlic and dried herbs of your choice. Pour over zucchini slices and stir until well coated. (This would also make a great marinade if left to sit 4 hours or so in a ziploc bag.)
2. Place zucchini on grill. Cook 3-4 more minutes on first side. Check for grill marks.
3. Turn zucchini to second side and cook about 4 minutes more, or until zucchini is starting to soften quite a bit, with the outside slightly charred and browned. Serve hot.

We brought this to a barbecue at a friend's house. It went over so well that they made it again themselves a couple days later!


Diane said...

I'm getting a bit overloaded with zucchini too. Thanks for the ideas!

Diane said...

Deb and I had your zucchini sandwich for lunch today. Very tasty - but next time I'll reduce the red peppers to a teaspoon instead of a tablespoon.