Tag Archives: zucchini recipe

Zucchini-Ricotta Fritters

Zucchini.  I love it–the plants are lush, the flowers beautiful, they create a LOT of food for my family for a very small investment.  Did I mention a LOT?  One of the joys of growing zucchini is the continual search for another way to prepare it.  The August 2011 Food and Wine and Mario Batali provided this easy-peasy and fast zucchini solution.

I’ve made zucchini fritters before I found this recipe, and they were pretty good.  And then I made them from this recipe and they were uh-maze-ing!  The magic?  Ricotta and lemon zest.  Oh, yeah.  So fresh!  So citrusy!  So yummy!!!

This recipe is MOSTLY zucchini!  It calls for 2 medium, but I had captured 3 while they were small that day…

  • 2 medium (or 3 small) zucchini
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 large scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • olive oil for frying
  • lemon wedges for serving

In a large bowl, combine zucchini, scallions, garlic, ricotta, eggs, lemon zest, and salt and pepper. 

Stir to combine and add flour.  Stir until just incorporated.

Line a large baking sheet with paper towels.  In a large skillet, heat 1/4 inch of olive oil until shimmering.  Working in batches, add 2-tablespoon mounds of the zucchini batter to the hot oil, spreading them to form 3-inch puddles.

Fry over medium-high heat, turning once until browned and crisp, about 3 minutes.  Drain on paper towels.

Serve right away, with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Yum-yum-yummy!  Perfect with pasta, or with a fresh tomato slice, or the next morning, reheated, with an over-easy egg and a bit of cheese on top!  Zucchini–it’s what’s for breakfast!  🙂  Food and Wine suggests a wine pairing of a citrusy, spritsy, Spanish white.

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Sweet-Tooth Saturday: Gluten-Free Carrot-Zucchini Mini-Muffins

What a long title!  It took me all the way to Sunday to write it and THAT’S why this post is a day late….yeah…it has nothing to do with eating take-out from one of our favorite Mexican Restaurants, feeling stuffed and sleepy, and going to bed.  I know I should have stayed up late and blogged for you my dear readers but, y’know, life happens!  : )

Today we were invited to some friends’ for coffee on the patio and I decided to make somethin’ yummy, breakfast-y and gluten-free  (one of the friends is gluten-intolerant).  I also found a few more zucchini in the garden–what a surprise!  This recipe was on Food Network yesterday and it caught my attention because of the zucchini plus the added bonus of being gluten-free.

Check out how cute these little muffins are:

The grape seed oil, almond flour and brown rice flour can be found at natural groceries or at larger groceries in the baking aisle.

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup grape seed oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 grated (small) zucchini (about 1/2-3/4 cup)
  • 1 grated carrot (about 1/2-3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, diced (the original recipe called for raisins)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line 36 mini-muffins with paper liners. (The muffins are very difficult to remove from the pans if you don’t use liners!)

Mix almond flour, rice flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon together.

Whisk together maple syrup, oil and egg.

Add grated carrot and zucchini to the wet ingredients.

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet.

Stir the apricots in until evenly distributed through the batter.

Use a small, 1-TBSP scoop to place batter in the 36 lined mini-muffins.  Bake for 15-18 minutes–until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out with just a couple moist crumbs attached.  The centers will be a bit flat or curved in.  Cool in pans on racks.

Frost with a cream cheese-honey frosting, sprinkle with powdered sugar, or leave them plain, like I did. 

Light, moist, perfect little bites of good-for-you yumminess. They are a bit on the delicate side, and were a bit difficult to get out of the liners all in one piece.  I’ll do a bit more research on gluten-free baking to see if I can find an ingredient to fix that–xanthan gum maybe?  It ought to be yummy experimenting!

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Sweet-Tooth Saturday: Chocolate Zucchini Cake

What does a zucchini dream of as it lays under a green canopy of leaves, evading your notice as it grows to gargantuan proportions?  It wants to be loved, of course.  It wants to be made into somethin’ yummy!  What could be more yummy than a tender, moist, chocolatey cupcake?

This recipe came from my dear friend, Jan, or as we like to call her, Jan-Bob.  It is a very popular recipe during the time of year when moby-zucchinis lurk in every garden.  You can use any size zucchini, but if it is very large, you may want to seed it first.

  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 4 TBSP cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour milk (or 1/2 cup milk with 1/2 tsp lemon juice)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 bag chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease and flour a 9×13 cake pan or bundt pan, or line 24 cupcakes or 5 dozen mini-cupcakes.

Cream together sugar, butter, oil, eggs, milk, and vanilla until combined.

Add flour, cocoa, soda and salt.  Beat 2 minutes.

Stir in grated zucchini and chocolate chips.

Pour into pan or divide between 24 cupcakes.

Bake 45-50 minutes for 9×13, 1 hour and 30 minutes for a bundt, 25 minutes for cupcakes, 15 minutes for mini-cupcakes.  Or until center springs back when touched and a toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached.

Cool in pan(s) on rack(s).  (Cool bundt until pan can be handled with bare hands.  Remove from pan and cool completely on rack.)  This cake is so rich it doesn’t need frosting.  If you want, a light dusting of powdered sugar can pretty it up.  The chocolate chips stay sort of melty if stored at room temperature.

I like to make cupcakes, because they are so nicely portioned and more portable than a slice of cake.  It’s one of the yummier ways to eat zucchini–not exactly a health food, but more healthy than just plain cake.  I’m not sure how long it will keep, and I’ve never frozen it (but I think it would freeze nicely), because it never lasts long around here!

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Garden-Fresh Ratatouille

I had never had ratatouille before this summer; knew there was an animated movie about a rat gourmet and that’s about it.  I came across a recipe in my newest cookbook, Gluten-Free and Easy.  How fabulous to find all the ingredients for ratatouille right in my very own garden!  What could I do?  I had to try this yummy-yummy recipe.

  • 1 large onion, finely sliced (My onions are still a bit small, so I pulled 7 smallish ones.)
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 large eggplant, about 1 pound, chopped (I’m growing a lovely heirloom striped variety called Italian Bicolor.)
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, seeded and diced (this is a Big Bertha Bell)
  • 2 baby yellow squash, chopped
  • 2 1/4 pounds ripe plum (roma) tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup white wine (REALLY makes all the difference in the flavor!!!)
  • 1 TBSP tomato paste
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf (I bought a sweet bay plant from the greenhouse this year, so I have fresh bay!  Woot!)
  • 2 TBSP chopped basil
  • 1 TBSP chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • good grind of black pepper

(Wow does this use a bunch of my garden produce!  Yay!)

Cut a small x in the bottoms of each tomato (helps the peel to separate), blanch in boiling water for a couple minutes, shock in ice water, cut off stem end, peel and chop.

In a large saucepan or skillet over medium heat, saute the onion in olive oil until soft.

Add the garlic, eggplant and coriander and cook, stirring for 5 minutes.

Add zucchini, green pepper and yellow squash.  Cook for another few minutes.

Stir in tomatoes, wine, tomato paste, thyme (the leaves will cook off the stems, which can be removed later), and bay leaf.  Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes until vegetables are tender.

(Now we’re smellin’ yummy!)  Stir in basil and parsley.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve with your choice of starch.  The recipe suggests a baked polenta or mashed sweet potatoes with pumpkin.  I had some pasta.

So good warm with a bit of parmesan!  It was also yummy cold the next day for lunch, with a bit of basil pesto.  The eggplant provides a sort of meatiness that makes this vegetarian meal (or side dish) satisfying to the meat-lovers in your house.  The flavor from the wine melds with the veggies to create a yumminess that is more than the veggies would be on their own.  And, with all of those freshly picked veggies?  Gotta be good for you.

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Sweet-Tooth Saturday: Zucchini Bread

Note:  I started this post yesterday–Saturday–evening.  While typing I received an invitation to take a moonlight hike.  The moon was full last night, so what could I do, dear reader?  I went hiking.  We now bring you the belated Saturday post, in its entirety…..

So. You planted zucchini this year.  Or your neighbor has zucchini plants.  Or you left your car open, came back to it, and found a giant zucchini sitting on the driver’s seat.  Sound familiar?  I ALWAYS plant way too much zucchini, in fear of squash bugs finishing off my entire harvest if I plant just one.  Right now I have 8 zucchini in a basket on my counter and who knows how many still lurking in the garden.  I’m always looking for something to do with my giant green treasures.

Here’s one yummy, easy-peasy solution to the ever-productive zucchini–a family fav, hot or cold–zucchini bread!  You too can turn your zucchini riches into yummy, spicy, warm with butter melting on it, sweet but not too sweet, zucchini bread:

Mmmm-mmm-mmm!  I usually have everything I need right in the fridge and pantry; I bet you do too!  This recipe comes from The Victory Garden Cookbook by Marion Morash.

(First of all, please notice the unbelievably cute flower-shaped measuring spoons–a birthday gift from a friend!  Love them!!!)

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups lightly packed coarsely grated zucchini (leave the skin on)
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts (optional) I like to use walnuts

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease 2 9×5 loaf pans.

Sift dry ingredients together. 

 

Beat eggs with the sugar, oil, and vanilla in a large bowl.

Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.  Use a mixer, whisk, or spoon.

Mix in grated zucchini.

Stir in nuts if desired.  (Notice how the zucchini created a more batter-like consistancy.)

Divide batter between the 2 greased loaf pans.

Bake for 50-60 minutes, until toothpick inserted near the center comes out with only a couple moist crumbs.  Cool in pans until you can handle them with your hands, remove from pans to cool completely before you wrap them for refrigerator or freezer storage. 

Go ahead and slice while still warm–you’ve been smelling that spicy yumminess for a while now and deserve a slice while it’s still warm!

See?  Super quick and easy to make, plus it will use up an entire zucchini…or at least part of a giant one!  This bread freezes well, in a freezer ziploc, waiting to be thawed and rewarmed on a cold winter day.  Makes an excellent holiday or hostess gift as well!  (Much more welcome than leaving your excess zucchinis on the neighbor’s porch!)  Yummy!

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Stuffed Zucchini–Blessed by the Zucchini Gods

My friend Angi gave me this recipe.  It’s a family recipe from her dad–a guy I need to meet one of these days, both because of the yummy factor of this dish AND the humor that was bundled into the recipe.  The recipe is mainly his words, and I’ll share his original commentary as the recipe goes along, in brackets.  🙂 

OK!  The ingredients:

[1 very large zucchini.  Large is good.  Blessed by the zucchini gods.]    As it isn’t zucchini season, I settled for 4 little zucchinis from the produce department.

1-1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef  [Depending on how blessed the zucchini is.]

2 medium yellow onions, chopped   [Please don’t cry about it!]

2 TBSP minced garlic  [Mince the garlic, not your words.]

1 small bell pepper chopped fine, or if you like it spicy [yeehaaaa] chop 2 fresh jalepeno peppers        (I used half a bell pepper and 2 small jalepenos–seeds and all, and it was perfect for us!)

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 TBSP dried oregano [use less if fresh]

2 TBSP dried basil  [ditto]

1 small jar of spaghetti sauce such as Ragu or Prego  [Note: no corporate sponsors were used in the creation of this recipe.]    (I only used a bit more than half of a jar.)

1/2 to 1 lb. shredded mozzerella  [The cheesier the better.]

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and line a cookie sheet with foil.

Wash your zucchini and slice it lengthwise in half.  Make sure both halves will lay flat on a cookie sheet.  [Be very careful with that knife!]

Spoon out the seeds [and other undesirable innards] from the inside of the zucchini.

Place the halves on a foil-lined cookie sheet.

In a skillet, brown the ground beef and minced garlic.

Add the onions, peppers and spices and continue to cook until the onions are in a caramelized state.  Stir frequently.  Remove from heat.  [It’s done!]

Spoon the ground beef mixture into the zucchini halves.  [Yes, you can taste it.  It smells so good!]

Spoon the spaghetti sauce on top of the stuffing and zucchini.

Place cookie sheet with the zucchini on the middle rack of the oven.  Bake for 30 minutes.

Remove the zucchini and cookie sheet from the oven.  [Be careful, it’s hot!]

Sprinkle the shredded mozzerella over the zucchini halves.  [Stack it on, it will all melt in nicely.]

Return the zucchini to the oven and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until the cheese turns a golden brown and the zucchini is tender.  Remove from the oven and let stand for 3-5 minutes.

Slice, serve, and enjoy.    (I cooked up some pasta to go with the sauce I didn’t use for the zucchini, and garnished with cheese and chopped herbs–parsley and oregano.)

One zucchini half was plenty for me, DH had two.  I started with 4 smallish zucchinis, so this recipe makes 4-8 servings.  I will definitely use this with any “Moby zucchinis” I find lurking in my garden this summer.  The ground beef was super yummy, but I’m thinking any ground meat would work.  (Ground pork would be uber-yummy!)

I’ll leave you with the wise words Angi’s dad left at the bottom of his recipe:

[Not responsible for gastro-intestinal distress caused by over-eating this tasty dish.]   🙂

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