Tag Archives: Zucchini

Zucchini Walnut Bread with Rosemary

Zucchini Walnut Bread with Rosemary

I would really love to be one of those food bloggers that cooks whatever they want to share that week. The ones who go by their own inner whims and tastes, who make a dish over and over, for days in a row until they get it just right to then excitedly share their results. But I’m just not.

I’m usually only cooking for two, and we two who eat my cooking are two people who are keenly aware of the fact that we and our metabolisms are not twenty-two anymore. We limit our portions, thus yielding many leftovers. Sometimes that means leftovers from the meal itself, and sometimes it means that I bought too much of an ingredient at the store.

Zucchini Walnut Bread with Rosemary

And when that happens, it usually leaves me looking for a way to not waste it. So when I bought too much zucchini at the farmer’s market last week, I threw it into zucchini bread to avoid throwing it into the trash. So original, right? Yeah, not so much.

Zucchini Walnut Bread with Rosemary

So I hope what is somewhat creative is this particular recipe for zucchini bread I’m sharing today. Common add-ins to zucchini bread seem to include nuts, chocolate, dried or fresh fruits – but I’d never seen rosemary before. Zucchini bread is on the sweet side, rosemary is not, but I loved the punchiness of that sweet-savory contrast it provided. This recipe method was a bit different from what I’ve seen too. Instead of squeezing all the water out of the shredded zucchini as usual, you use that as the liquid in your batter. I was a bit skeptical, but I shouldn’t have been – it worked quite nicely! Enjoy this one, it’s a great vehicle for using up any excess zucchini you may have lying around your house too!

Zucchini Walnut Bread with Rosemary

Source: Down South by Donald Link

Ingredients:
1 ½ cups plus 2 tbs all-purpose flour
½ cup walnuts
2 medium zucchini
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 ½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup canola or olive oil
2 large eggs
Grated zest of 1 small lemon
1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and lightly toast in the oven until fragrant, 7 to 9 minutes. Set aside, cool slightly, then chop. Using a box grater, grate the zucchini on the coarse holes. Spread the zucchini out on some paper towels to absorb a little excess water but do not squeeze them out.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. Stir in the rosemary. In another bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, and eggs. Use a spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, then fold in the lemon zest, lemon juice, zucchini, and walnuts. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a skewer inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool the bread in the pan completely before slicing and serving.

Zucchini Tacos with Corn Salsa and Chipotle Crema

Zucchini Tacos with Corn Salsa and Chipotle Crema

Years ago, when I finally decided to start eating from the produce aisle on a voluntary basis, I’ve been searching for a vegetable-based taco that meets with my admittedly high and exacting taco standards. Which are the following: they must be filling and hefty, no matter what the contents; flavor must be extremely bold and in your face; there must be a touch of heat and spice from chiles of some kind; there must be multiple components that complement each other.

Zucchini Tacos with Corn Salsa and Chipotle Crema

Vegetarian tacos generally fail at most of these criteria, particularly the last one. It often feels like people, more specifically restaurants and food trucks, think that if the filling is vegetable or bean based, then it might be overkill to top it with a vegetable or bean-based salsa. No!! Not at all! In fact it’s quite necessary to provide that contrast of textures, and that is a bit tougher on a vegetable-based taco.

Zucchini Tacos with Corn Salsa and Chipotle Crema

But with this blog post, I’m proving beyond any doubt that it is entirely possible. The key is choosing different textures between the main event filling and the garnish. This taco is, thus far, my hands down favorite meat-free taco ever, and it’s not a stretch to say it’s going in my top ten tacos eaten ever. The zucchini here is chopped and sautéed, so a chopped tomato salsa really wouldn’t work. The textures and shapes would be too similar. Corn kernels are a perfect solution. Then the chipotle crema adds a creamy note that this taco just begs for, plus that heat and spice that I personally require on all tacos.

Zucchini Tacos with Corn Salsa and Chipotle Crema

Carnivore or vegetarian, I don’t care, just try these. Whatever your eating habits/philosophy, it doesn’t matter – you will NOT be disappointed. Enjoy!

Source: Seriously Delish by Jessica Merchant

Ingredients:

TACOS:
2 tbs olive oil
2 shallots, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups cubed zucchini
Salt and black pepper, to taste
8 corn tortillas, warmed

CORN SALSA:
2 ears grilled corn on the cob, kernels cut from cob
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
2 tbs chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and black pepper, to taste

CHIPOTLE CREMA:
3 tbs plain Greek yogurt
2 tsp adobo sauce from a can of chipotle chiles in adobo
Juice of 1 lime
Pinch each of salt and black pepper

Directions:
For the TACOS: heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add the olive oil. Add the shallots and garlic. Cook, stirring, until softened, 2-3 minutes. Add the zucchini, salt, and pepper and stir. Cook, stirring, until the zucchini becomes slightly tender, 5-6 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
For the CORN SALSA, combine the corn kernels, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl and toss together.
For the CREMA, whisk together yogurt, adobo sauce, lime juice, salt and pepper.
To assemble the tacos, add some zucchini mixture to each warm tortilla and cover it with corn salsa. Drizzle some crema on top. Serve immediately.

Italian Vegetable Frittata

Italian Vegetable Frittata 022

Eggs and I have had a rather complicated relationship over the years. As a child, I liked scrambled eggs, but no other kinds – ever! Fast forward to college, where I majored in biology. Which meant taking labs. And labs meant conducting experiments, oftentimes on poor dead animals like fetal pigs and cats and frogs. And, chicken eggs.

Zucchini 001

My junior year, we used a special microscope to peer into a chicken egg that was actually meant to you know, hatch a live chicken. The egg was in its infancy stage, so it looked like a regular egg you’d buy in a carton at the grocery store, only we could see a beating heart. First it looked like nothing, then you’d see a quick burst of blood that then dissipated back into itself, like tossing a pebble into a puddle.

zucchini close-up 006

It freaked me the hell out. Probably shouldn’t have, but it was so weird to see this normal-looking egg, the likes of which I’d eaten my whole life, and all of a sudden there’s a bloody heartbeat in the middle of the yolk. And I mean a literal bloody heartbeat, not a British bloody heartbeat.

Italian Vegetable frittata 031

So, eggs and I broke up for a while. Despite liking the taste of scrambled eggs, I couldn’t bring myself to eat them after what I’d witnessed. It was just too weird. This persisted for several years. It wasn’t until Matt and I were dating that I agreed to try them again. See, I met him while he was a mid-twenty-something grad student, and scrambled eggs were one of the few things he knew he could make competently. So when I initially said I disliked them, he panicked a little, then regrouped and convinced me to try them. And I agreed. Because it was the beginning of the relationship, the part where we agree to do and try things we dislike, just for our new love.

Italian vegetable frittata 053

Good news though – I rekindled that old fondness for scrambled eggs, and decided to get over my squeamishness. And then the whole thing snowballed. Before you know it, I was eating poached eggs, and fried eggs, and baked eggs. Like frittatas. Something I never grew up eating, or even knowing about, for that matter…

Now I make them often. And this one I made with zucchini! And parmesan. And it was fluffy, light and delicious. Quite perfect, really. Enjoy!

italian vegetable frittata 042

{One Year Ago: Sweet Corn Sorghum Ice Pops}

Source: slightly adapted from The New Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook by Ellen Brown

Ingredients:
3 tbs olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. (about 3 thin) zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded, stemmed and chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper
10 large eggs
3 tbs chopped fresh basil
2 tbs dried oregano
6 tbs half-and-half
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 425 F.
Heat a 12” cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and tilt the pan to coat evenly. Add the onion. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes, until the onion is softened a bit. Add the garlic, zucchini, and bell pepper. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5-6 minutes, or until the veggies soften and the liquid has evaporated.
Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs with the basil, oregano, and half-and-half. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Reduce the heat on the skillet to medium and pour the egg mixture into the skillet. Do not stir. Cook about 4 minutes, or until you just start seeing the sides begin to set. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the frittata evenly, then transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the top is browned and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Run a spatula around the sides of the skillet and under the bottom to release it. Cut into wedges and serve.

Zucchini Arugula Lasagna

zucchini arugula lasagna

So a couple weeks ago I was menu planning, and suddenly it occurred to me that it has been, I don’t know, maybe FOREVER since the last time I made a lasagna. How terrible of me! Time for that to be rectified, stat.

arugula ricotta lasagna filling

As much of a lasagna lover that I am, I really was a bit baffled at how I could have let such a culinary sin occur in my kitchen. So, okay, time to fix the misstep. But it’s still the last vestiges of summer, and maybe a full on meaty dish isn’t appropriate or appetizing right now, and I have to admit that the traditional meat and red sauce version is what I think of most when I picture lasagna, despite all the infinite variations out there. But, no matter what my childhood lasagna first impressions were, it’s just too heavy for right now. Veggies to the rescue!

Zucchini Arugula Lasagna

I chose a recipe featuring zucchini and arugula since they are both very currently seasonal. This one did feature a tomato sauce, but it wasn’t heavy or the least bit greasy. The dish turned out perfect for the weather and for our taste buds. Extremely flavorful, satisfying, with the familiar comfort of the tomato sauce but the fresh pop of zucchini. We loved it. And as always with lasagna, the leftovers just get better.

zucchini arugula lasagna

A few recipe notes: I really, really, really should have used a larger/taller baking dish. I used a pretty, kind of frouffy one, where the sides aren’t very high, accidentally forgetting that I have a pretty lasagna pan with high sides (d’oh!) and well, my lasagna runneth over. Quite a bit. Thank god I had the good foresight to place the pan on a baking sheet, but still. I’d recommend a higher-sided pan. Also, slice the zucchini very thin, to ensure it cooks through in the oven. I absolutely adored the smoky smoked mozzarella here, but you can certainly use regular mozz if you prefer.

Zucchini arugula lasagna

Zucchini Arugula Lasagna

{One year ago: Buffalo Chicken Meatballs}

Source: slightly adapted from Keys to the Kitchen by Aida Mollenkamp

Ingredients:
TOMATO SAUCE:
2 tbs olive oil
½ a medium yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ tsp crushed chile flakes
2 (28 oz.) cans crushed tomatoes
Kosher salt and black pepper

CHEESE FILLING:
5 oz. baby arugula, tough stems removed
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
15 oz. ricotta cheese
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt

LASAGNA:
2 tbs minced fresh oregano leaves
2 tbs olive oil
2 lb. zucchini, ends trimmed and sliced thin crosswise
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 (8-9 oz.) box of no-boil lasagna noodles
12 oz. smoked mozzarella cheese, grated
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:
First, make the TOMATO SAUCE. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add the onion and cook until softened. Add garlic and chile flakes; cook one more minute. Stir in the tomatoes and season well with salt and pepper. Cook until tomatoes start to simmer. Decrease the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until flavors meld, at least 20 minutes longer.
Now make the CHEESE FILLING. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process until evenly combined. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Set aside.
For the LASAGNA: preheat the oven to 375 F and arrange a rack in the middle. Toss together the oregano, oil, and zucchini in a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Assemble the lasagna: grease a high-sided 9×13” baking pan with cooking spray. Arrange one-fourth of the lasagna noodles over the bottom of the pan, breaking to fit as necessary. Top with 2 cups tomato sauce and spread it evenly. Dollop one-third of the ricotta mixture over the sauce. Spread it evenly. Layer one-fourth of the zucchini over the ricotta, then top with one-fourth each of the mozzarella and Parmesan. Repeat to make 2 more layers.
For the final layer, top the lasagna with the last of the noodles, sauce, zucchini, mozzarella, and Parmesan.
Cover with aluminum foil, tenting it along the center of the lasagna to avoid the cheese sticking to it. Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the liquids are bubbling and the noodles are beginning to soften, about 40 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the top is golden brown and the noodles are completely tender, about 20 minutes more. Remove from the oven and allow to rest 15 minutes before serving.

Nutella Zucchini Muffins

Nutella Zucchini Muffins

Don’t you love healthy(ish) baked goods that don’t taste the least bit healthy? And isn’t it an even bigger plus if said baked goods are very easy to make, and don’t have any weird ingredients you have to get at a special health-foods store? And the biggest win of all – don’t you love it when baked goods involve Nutella, one of the more awesome creations ever made by a human being? Obviously, these muffins fit the bill on all counts!

making Nutella zucchini muffins

So, confession time – I never had Nutella growing up. My husband introduced it to me. He is an absolute Nutella fiend. I could probably smear it on his gym shoes and he’d eat them with a smile. I have since developed a love for the spread too, and it’s rare you won’t see a large jar of it in our pantry.

making zucchini muffins

So when my food blogger friend Kirsten posted these, I knew they were gettin’ made – SOON! Genius idea. They were delicious – moist and tender, a bit cakey, with that Nutella flavor we all love. And these are a great excuse to use up some zucchini while it’s still in season. Try them soon, they are soooo yummy!

Nutella Zucchini Muffins

Source: Farm Fresh Feasts

Ingredients:
1 large egg
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup Nutella
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a standard muffin pan with cooking spray, or line with muffin liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk, oil, Nutella and sugar. Add zucchini. Stir until thoroughly combined. Add flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk until just moistened.
Fill muffin cups 2/3 full (I use an ice cream scoop for this). Bake for 15 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center of one comes out clean. Cool in pan a few minutes, then turn onto a rack.

Zucchini Snack Cake

Zucchini Snack Cake

This cake is awesome. Let me tell you why.

zucchini cake batter

1) It comes together soooo easily – anyone, and I mean anyone, could pull this one off.

2) It comes together extremely quickly. Perfect for last-minute guests, or for an oh-crap-I-forgot-I-was-supposed-to-make-something-for-that-gathering situation.

Zucchini Snack Cake

3) It’s an opportunity to sneak in a vegetable and have your kids be none the wiser.

4) It’s great for all you zucchini gardeners who have it coming out your ears. This will use up a whole pound of your crop!

Zucchini Snack Cake

5) This cake is so versatile. You could serve it at brunch, like a coffee cake. You could have it for dessert. You can have it whenever, as an afternoon snack, or a midnight snack.

6) You could frost it if you wanted, but a simple dusting of powdered sugar is really all it needs to be complete and elegant. And nothing at all works, too. I tried it that way. It works.

Zucchini Snack Cake

So get in your kitchen and throw this one together. It’s ridiculously moist and sooo tasty. I hope you love it as much as we did!

zucchini snack cake

Source: New York a la Cart by Alexandra Penfold & Siobhan Wallace

Ingredients:
2 ½ cups flour
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp salt
1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting, if desired
½ cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup canola oil
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 lb. zucchini, ends trimmed

Directions:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 F. Grease a 9×13” baking pan and set aside.
Grate the zucchini on the coarse side of your box grater, or with the coarse grater disk of your food processor. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, confectioners’ sugar, and brown sugar. Stir in the oil until flour mixture is moistened, then add eggs, stirring until a thick batter forms. Fold in the zucchini with a rubber spatula until just combined. Do not overmix.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until top is golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 to 40 minutes.
Cool completely before serving.

Zucchini Olive Pizza

zucchini olive pizza

Here’s a confession for you – as much as I am all about cooking and baking from scratch, pizza dough is one thing I never make in my own kitchen. I have made it several times before, both successfully and unsuccessfully, but it’s been years.

zucchini and olives

Almost seven years ago, Matt and I moved into our current apartment, and into a neighborhood that boasts a terrific, authentic NYC, mom-and-pop pizza joint. They make their dough from scratch, and they will sell you their unbaked dough in aluminum tins. It’s some of the best pizza dough I’ve tasted, and that includes eating lots of pizza on a trip to Italy back in college. Though I should say, for full disclosure, that trip did not include Rome or Naples.

zucchini and olives

But anyways, the pizza dough up the street is outstanding, and since discovering it, I’ve felt no real need to make it in my kitchen. I like supporting a local business. I like saving the time and being more spontaneous about our pizza making and eating. And since they sell very large New York style pizzas, one tin of dough gets me two pizzas at home. Win!

zucchini on pizza

Typically I’ll buy a tin of dough, for $3, cut it in half, use one and freeze the other. Although I have learned that you absolutely CANNOT tell them that you freeze their dough. I made that mistake once.

Zucchini Olive Pizza

I don’t know why, but the guy who makes the dough gets extremely offended at the very notion of placing their prized goods in a freezer. When I bought my first batch, I nonchalantly mentioned freezing some of it, and he suddenly turned into the Soup Nazi from “Seinfeld”! I seriously thought he wasn’t going to sell me any! I hastily assured him I would never freeze the dough (with fingers crossed behind my back, of course) and got the heck out of there.

Zucchini Olive Pizza

I guess he wasn’t too offended (or just doesn’t remember me) because we’re going on seven years of buying (and freezing! Shh!) his dough. This is one of my favorite summer pizzas to make with it. It’s perfect for all you zucchini gardeners who have it coming out your ears. I’ve only made it in the oven, so those are the instructions I give, but I feel certain this could easily be adapted for the grill. Let me know if you try it that way (or any way.) Enjoy!

zucchini olive pizza

Source: adapted from Giada at Home by Giada de Laurentiis

Ingredients:
1 lb. pizza dough, at room temperature
1 large (8 oz.) zucchini, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 tbs chopped fresh oregano leaves
6 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese, preferably fresh
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup pitted Kalamata olives

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 450 F. Grease a baking sheet or pizza pan.
Roll the dough out to fit the pan. Prick all over with the tines of a fork. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven.
Arrange the zucchini slices in a single layer on top of the parbaked dough. Sprinkle 1 tbs oregano, cheese and olives on top of the zucchini. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle the pizza with the remaining tbs oregano. Let rest for about 5 to 10 minutes, then slice and serve.

Summer Squash Enchiladas

Summer Squash Enchiladas

April showers bring May flowers … if you live in an elementary school science textbook. The reality (this year anyway) is that is that gorgeous May days seem to have brought chilly, rainy June days. Hmph.

sauteeing summer squash

The upside is that comforting dishes like enchiladas suddenly don’t seem too heavy or out of season. And as I’ve been craving enchiladas for the past few weeks, this worked out nicely. Yet, seeing as this weather could turn itself around in a heartbeat and suddenly feel like summer, and you know, force us to wear shorts and tank tops, I decided to go vegetarian and keep things light. I also decided to highlight some summer produce at its peak.

making enchiladas

I found these on The Homesick Texan and they fit the bill perfectly. And if you’re familiar with Lisa’s blog or book or recipes, you already know that it was outstanding.

enchiladas ready to be baked

When I told Matt we were having enchiladas for dinner, he raised his eyebrows, and I could tell he was thinking that sounded heavy for summer. I quickly added, no no, they’re vegetarian. Vegetarian? Meaning cheese enchiladas, he said. No no no, I replied, there’s actual vegetables in there! He looked simultaneously pleased and surprised…

enchiladas out of the oven

So if your summer catches a chilly, rainy day, or you are blessed with central air conditioning, or if you’re experiencing an overabundance of zucchini, then this should definitely go on your summer menu. It’s just awesome.

Summer Squash Enchiladas

Source: adapted from The Homesick Texan

Ingredients:
ENCHILADA SAUCE:
6 dried guajillo chiles, stems cut off and most of the seeds shaken out
1 canned chipotle in adobo
2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
1 (15-oz.) can of diced tomatoes, drained
1 generous tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
Salt and black pepper to taste

FILLING:
1 tbs canola oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, stemmed and seeded, diced
1 large zucchini, diced
1 large yellow summer squash, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp ground cumin
Salt, cayenne and black pepper to taste

12 corn tortillas
2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese

Directions:
First, make the sauce: in a dry medium saucepan heated on high, take the chiles and toast on each side for about 10 seconds or just until they start to puff. Leave the heat on and cover the chiles with water. When the water begins to boil, shut off the heat, cover, and let chiles soak until soft, about 25 minutes. Lift the chiles out with tongs and add them to the blender.
Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a 12-inch skillet on medium heat and cook the onions for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Place onions and garlic into the blender with the chiles. Add the canned chipotle chile, the tomatoes, 2 cups of the chile soaking liquid, cumin, and oregano; blend until smooth.
In the same skillet you used to saute the onions and garlic, heat 1 teaspoon of oil on low heat, pour in the sauce and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and black pepper to taste and adjust other seasonings as needed.
To make the filling, in a separate large skillet, heat the oil on medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeños and cook for a minute. Add the diced zucchini and yellow squash, cilantro, cumin and sauté for 10 minutes. Add salt, cayenne and black pepper to taste.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish. Warm the tortillas either over your gas flame (using tongs!) or wrapped in foil and placed in the oven for 5 minutes while the oven is preheating. If you heat them on your stove top, then be sure to keep them in a tortilla warmer or in a foil packet so they don’t lose that heat.
Take a warmed tortilla and dip it into the sauce. Shake off most of the sauce, but make sure that it’s moist enough to be pliable. Lay the tortilla on a plate or clean cooking surface, add a spoonful of the filling down the center of it and then roll the tortilla. Place rolled enchilada in greased baking dish seam side down and repeat with remaining tortillas.
Pour sauce over enchiladas and top with shredded cheese. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned and bubbling. Serve topped with avocado wedges and extra minced or torn cilantro leaves.