September 17, 2009 at 7:58 a.m.

I didn't forget about the versatile zucchini

I didn't forget about the versatile zucchini
I didn't forget about the versatile zucchini

Did you think I forgot to share zucchini (I call them zucs) recipes with you? Not a chance. If ever a veggie could use a marketing machine, it's the zucs. As a veggie, it is a friend to most cooks. We know that it grows and produces small to extra large (I call them baseball bats) if you let them grow for longer than you should. However, some like them larger for some recipes. You can use them in desserts, breads, casseroles, soups, salads, muffins, and combined with a number of other veggies and meats, such as chicken, turkey. I like them sauted with onion, green or red pepper, and mushrooms. However, you should cook just tender so they're not mushy. Don't peel them before using unless the recipe says to peel.

One plant will be sufficient to produce LOTS of zucs. I think I've mentioned that I garden with one of our daughter's who has a huge "family" garden. So what did she plant this year but 3 zucs and 2 yellow summer squash plants. I believe we could go to the farmer's market and get rich!

Well enough talk. It's zuc recipes today...obviously.

This is a good recipe to use if you're having a brunch. Serve a fresh fruit salad and some sort of quick bread, dinner rolls or muffins and you're good to go. It's a great recipe for vegetarians.

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BAKED ZUCCHINI ITALIAN-STYLE

2 T. butter or margarine

6 small zucs, about 7 inches long, cut about 1/4-inch thick and quartered

1/3 c. diced red pepper

1 t. Italian seasoning

1/2 t. salt - optional

1/4 t. each, pepper and garlic powder

4 eggs, beaten until foamy

1 c. half-and-half or light cream

1 c. shredded Provolone Cheese (can use Swiss cheese if you wish)

2 T. flour

1 T. grated Romano or Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in a large skillet. Saute zucs, red pepper, and seasonings until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine cream, Provolone cheese and flour. Add veggie mixture. Pour into a 1-1/2 qt. rectangular baking dish. Sprinkle Romano cheese over top. Bake about 40 minutes at 350 degrees or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Note: If you don't have an oblong baking dish, you can use a round one, but bake it a bit longer.

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You'll want to try this soup recipe, it's delicious.

CORN SALSA

1 medium to large zucchini, shredded (3 c.)

2 T. diced onions

3 T. butter or margarine

2 c. milk

1 c. water

1 t. chicken bouillon granules (I use "Herb Ox" salt-free bouillon)

1/4 t. salt

Couple dashes cayenne pepper (ground red pepper)

1/4 t. pepper

1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese

In a large saucepan, saute onions in butter until just tender. Stir in flour, blending well. Gradually stir in milk, water, bouillon and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium heat, mixing constantly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add zucs. Simmer, uncovered, for 11 minutes or till zucs are tender. Stir in cheese until melted.

Makes 4 servings.

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ZUCCHINI/GRANOLA COOKIES

1/4 c. plus 2 T. butter softened

3/4 c. brown sugar, packed

1 small egg

1/2 t. vanilla

2 t. grated orange rind (1 small orange)

1-1/2 c. unpeeled, grated zucs

1-1/2 c. plus 2 T. flour

1/2 t. each, baking soda and salt

1-1/2 c. granola cereal

3/4 c. butterscotch or chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugar in large bowl until creamy; add next four ingredients, mixing well. Combine flour, soda and salt in a small bowl, add to zuc mixture. Add granola; mix. Stir in chips. (dough will be sticky.) Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until just set. Cool on rack.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

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This cake is not the popular chocolate zucchini cake. It's quick and easy to make and freezes well.

QUICK ZUCCHINI CAKE

1 regular size yellow cake mix

4 eggs

1/2 c. canola or vegetable oil

1 t. cinnamon

1 T. vanilla

2 c. grated zucs

1/2 c. raisins

1/2 c. chopped walnuts or pecans

Powdered sugar - optional

Beat first 5 ingredients in large mixing bowl for 5 minutes. Fold in next 3 ingredients. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan, spoon in batter and bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes. Test with toothpick after 40 minutes for doneness; if not done, retest at 5 minute intervals. Remove cake from pan (turn upside down) onto wire rack. Let cool completely on rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if you wish, or make a powdered sugar glaze and drizzle over top.

Makes 16 servings.

Note: Two weeks ago, I wrote about cabbage and mentioned that one weighed almost 10 lbs. A neighbor told me that a gentleman from Chisago City picked one that weighed 13 some lbs. That's great, however, I picked 3 more and one weighed in at 15.6; one weighed 13.5 and the other weighed 12.2 lbs. I have one left in the garden and it looks like it's even bigger than the 15 pounder. What can I say except are we having a contest here? So far, I win, but you may have one bigger than that. Are you making sauerkraut or sharing fresh cabbage with others? I'm making kraut and when it's "done working", I'll share it with others. Yahoo for us!

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