8/4/2017 1:57:00 PM Zucchini squash are multifaceted
We are right in the middle of the season for zucchini, yellow crookneck squash, and many other veggies. Today it’s about green and yellow summer squash. These versatile summer squash can be used interchangeably in most recipes or combined together to make a colorful ingredient to salads or other dishes. The ideal size for these squash, for most recipes, is about 6 to 7-inches long and about 1-1/2 inches in diameter. If you’re going to prepare them sliced, dipped in beaten egg, coated with bread or cracker crumbs and fried in butter or olive oil (yummy) you will want the larger size… about 9-inches long and about 2 to 2-1/2 inches in diameter.
Let’s start with a colorful salad.
SEVEN VEGETABLE SALAD 1 c. each, fresh green beans, cut in 1-inch pieces, zucchini and yellow crookneck squash, sliced in 1/2 –inch pieces, 1/2 small red or sweet white onion (Walla Walla or other sweet onion) cut in scant 1/2-inch rings, separated and sugar snap peas 2 small tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped ( can use Roma) 1 c. coarsely shredded carrots 2/3 c. Zesty, reduced-fat or regular Italian dressing 2 T. fresh minced basil leaves or 2 t. dried (fresh is better)
In a large skillet, bring about 1-inch water to a boil. Add first 5 ingredients. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 2-3 minutes or until just crisp-tender. Drain; gently rinse with cold water (a spray faucet works well), drain again and pat on paper towel. Put veggies in a large bowl; add tomatoes and carrots, dressing and basil, stirring gently to coat. Refrigerate one hour to meld flavors. Makes 10 servings. Note: You can get fresh basil leaves in cellophane packets in the produce dept. of the grocery store. Also, this recipe can be easily cut in half for a smaller amount.
ZUCCHINI SPICE CAKE 2 c. flour 2 t. cinnamon 1/8 t. nutmeg 2 t. baking soda 1/2 t. each, baking powder and salt 1 c. each, white sugar, packed brown sugar and canola or vegetable oil 1 T. vanilla 3 eggs 2 c. shredded zucchini 1 c. chopped walnuts
In a large bowl, using a wire whisk, combine first 6 ingredients, mixing well. In a large mixing bowl at medium speed, beat next 5 ingredients until well blended. Reduce speed to low; beat in dry ingredients, zucchini and nuts. Spread in well greased or sprayed 9x13-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until tests done. Cool completely on wire rack. When completely cooled, frost with cream cheese frosting or dust with powdered sugar just before serving. Makes 12-15 servings.
ZUCCHINI AND BEEF CASSEROLE 2 T. olive or canola oil 1 each, medium onion and green pepper, diced (about 3/4 c. each) 1 lb. ground beef 1 clove garlic, minced 6 medium (about 6-inches long), cut in 1/2 –inch slices 1-8 oz. can tomato sauce 1-6 oz. can tomato paste 2 – 15 oz. cans petite diced tomatoes 1/2 c. black olives, cut in halves 1/4c. dried oregano leaves 1/8 t. pepper 1 c. medium shredded cheddar cheese
In a large skillet, sauté onion and green pepper in oil 2-3 minutes. Add beef and garlic; cook over medium heat until meat is browned, stirring often. Stir in zucchini. In a bowl, combine tomato sauce and paste until smooth; stir in diced tomatoes; cook for 3 minutes over medium heat. Remove from heat; stir in olives, oregano and pepper. Turn into a 2-1/2 qt. casserole; sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Makes 6 servings.
ZUCCHINI PARMESAN QUICK BREAD 3 c. flour 1 c. peeled (yes, peeled), shredded zucchini (drain on paper towel 1/3 c. sugar 3 T. grated Parmesan cheese 1/2 t. baking soda 1 t. baking powder 1 t. salt 1/3 c. butter, melted 1 c. buttermilk 2 eggs 1 T. grated onion or 1-1/2 T. minced (cut very small) fresh onion
In a large bowl, combine first seven ingredients together, mixing well. Stir melted butter into buttermilk. Beat eggs in a medium bowl; add butter/buttermilk mixture and onion; stir into flour mixture. (Batter will be thick.) Spread in greased or sprayed and lightly floured 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Use toothpick inserted in center to test for doneness. Cool completely before cutting. Refrigerate it overnight to meld flavors, plus it makes it easier to slice. Makes 14-16 slices. Note: This bread would be excellent to serve with spaghetti or any pasta dish. A dill/butter spread would make it really good. Just combine 1 t. of fresh snipped dill with 1 stick (1/2 c.) very soft butter (NOT MELTED), stirring until well mixed. Transfer to a little bowl. To make it pretty, sprinkle a tiny bit of snipped dill around inside edge of bowl or if you have your own dill, put a tiny sprig in the center. (Can you tell I like to garnish foods whenever I can?)
Thought for the Day: When it comes to staying young, a mind-lift beats a face-lift!