August 2, 2018 at 2:36 p.m.

Zucchini is good in just about anything

Zucchini is good in just about anything
Zucchini is good in just about anything

Here we are into August already! Before we get into winter squash recipes, which won’t be until fall, we have to take care of summer squash, as in zucchini, yellow or crook-neck. Whether you are growing them, buying them at a farmers market, roadside stands or have been given to you by family, friends or neighbors, there are many ways of using them in our cooking. If you are growing them you most likely know to check their growth almost every day. It isn’t long before a seven inch zuc becomes a 10-inch green baseball bat. This green veggie should be used without peeling off the skin.

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There is a lot of good recipes using zucchini, so let’s start with...

ZUCCHINI-PECAN MUFFINS
1-1/2 c. flour
3/4 c. sugar
1 t. each, baking soda and cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. milk
1 t. vanilla
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 c. shredded zucchini
1/4 c. each, chopped pecans and raisins

In a large bowl, combine first five ingredients; blend well. In another bowl, combine next four ingredients. Stir into flour mixture just until moistened. Fold in last three ingredients. Fill 12 paper lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Makes 12 muffins.

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EASY ZUCCHINI SAUSAGE BAKE
1/2 lb. Italian sausage, mild or hot
1/2 c. diced onion
2 T. vegetable oil
2 medium zucchini, about seven inches long, sliced in 1/2 inch pieces
3 c. cooked rice (1-1/2 c. uncooked)
1-15 oz. can tomato sauce, divided
1 t. seasoned salt
1 c. grated Mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

In a large skillet, cook  sausage until no longer pink and onion until soft; drain well and set aside. Add oil to skillet; saute zucchini slices over medium heat for about four minutes, turning once until zucchini is just tender. Don’t cook until soft. Remove to plate, set aside. In a bowl, combine 2/3 c. of tomato sauce with rice, sausage and onion. Turn into a 9x9 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with season salt. Arrange zucchini slices over top, sprinkle with half of mozzarella and all of the Parmesan cheese. Spoon remaining tomato sauce over cheese. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Makes six servings.

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ZUCCHINI SALAD WITH BACON 
DRESSING
Salad:
4 medium zucchini, shredded (about four cups)
1/4 c. finely diced onion
6 medium fresh mushrooms, sliced
6 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

Dressing:
2 slices of bacon, fried crisp, drained on paper towel, saving 2 T. of drippings
2 T. sugar
2 t. cornstarch
1/3 c. water
1/3 c. cider vinegar
1 t. soy sauce
1/4 t. pepper

Combine sugar, cornstarch and water, mixing until smooth; set aside. In a small saucepan, combine bacon drippings, cider vinegar, soy sauce and pepper. Heat until hot. Stir cornstarch mixture again; stir quickly into hot vinegar mixture, stirring constantly. Cook until mixture boils and thickens. Set aside; cool slightly. Crumble bacon; set aside. Combine zucchini, onion, mushrooms, tomatoes and bacon in a large bowl. Fold dressing ingredients into salad. Makes six (1/2 c.) servings.

Thought for the Day: A little zucchini story for you. A gardener was facing his usual summertime problem.. too many zucchini at one time. One morning he put a bunch of zucchini on an old wooden chair, taped a “free” sign on it and set it out by the road in front of his house. Later in the day when he came home from work, he found the zucchini on the ground but the chair was gone.

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