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10 ways to use up all that zucchini

By J.M. Hirsch
Associated Press
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/07/29/15/17/bqWpC.Em.138.jpeg|443
    Matthew Mead - AP
    Use some of your zucchini to make a spicy salsa.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/07/29/15/17/suKit.Em.138.jpeg|473
    Matthew Mead - AP
    Serve an appetizer of cheesy zucchini fries with paprika dipping sauce.

More Information

  • Choosing and storing zucchini

    Choose: Zucchini with skin that is a bright forest green color is best. Watch out for blemishes; its thin skin is easily damaged. Smaller zucchini is tender, has less seeds and is great for a quick saute or in a stir-fry. Medium size (about 8 inches long and 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter) is great for the grill. Large zucchini typically has more seeds and higher moisture content and is best shredded and used to make breads and muffins.

    Storing: Shred zucchini and store in 1 or 2 cup amounts in a plastic sealable bag. Label, date and freeze. When ready to use, thaw and pat dry the zucchini. To freeze slices, slightly blanch them, plunge in ice water, drain and pat dry. Place in a bag and freeze as directed above. It will keep 10 to 12 months in the freezer.

    Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press


  • Blueberry Zucchini Bread

    Created by Laura Meagher, Henry Ford Hospital dietetic intern for Heart Smart, and tested by Susan M. Selasky of the Detroit Free Press. The recipe makes two loaves and freezes well.

    For the loaves:

    Floured baking spray

    1 container (7 ounces) low-fat plain Greek-style yogurt

    1/3 cup canola oil

    1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

    1 large egg

    3 egg whites

    1 teaspoon lemon zest

    2 teaspoons vanilla extract

    1 teaspoon lemon extract

    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

    1 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour

    1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

    2 teaspoons baking powder

    1/2 teaspoon baking soda

    1/8 teaspoon salt

    2 cups shredded zucchini, lightly squeezed

    1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

    For the glaze:

    1/2 cup powdered sugar

    1 1/2 tablespoons water

    1 tablespoon trans fat-free margarine, melted

    1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

    HEAT oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 8-by-4-inch loaf pans with baking spray; set aside. In a large bowl, beat the yogurt and canola oil with an electric mixer on medium speed; add sugar and beat well. Add the egg, egg whites, lemon zest, vanilla extract and lemon extract and beat well.

    IN a separate bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, white whole-wheat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir flour mixture into sugar mixture until just moistened, being careful not to over-mix. Gently fold in the shredded zucchini and blueberries.

    BAKE for 55 to 60 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. To prepare the glaze, combine the powdered sugar, water, margarine and lemon extract until smooth. Pour glaze over the top of each loaf while still warm.

    COOL in pans on wire rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pans and cool completely on wire rack.

    Per slice: 168 calories (21 percent from fat), 4 g fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat), 31 g carbohydrates, 3 g protein, 100 mg sodium, 8 mg cholesterol, 23 mg calcium, 1 g fiber.

    Yield: 2 loaves.



Zucchini bread is fine and all, but when you’re staring down a mountain of summer abundance, how much of it can you really eat?

Convinced we could find more ways to use up a bounty of zucchini, we decided to explore out-of-the-box ideas for summer’s most notorious love-hate vegetable. The result? Some delicious ideas that will have you if not embracing then at least better tolerating your zucchini.

And just in case you still can’t resist zucchini bread, we’ve included a version that takes it in a new direction.

1 Pasta: Grab one of those veggie spiral cutting gizmos that let you render produce into pasta-like ribbons. Zucchini does particularly well. Toss the zucchini spirals in a hot skillet with a splash of oil for a minute or two, then dress with sauce and cheese as you would pasta. Or boil real pasta, then add the zucchini for the last minute. Drain and dress.

2 Dip: Slice a zucchini in half and toss it on a medium hot grill. Cook until lightly browned and tender, then pop it into a food processor. Add tahini, garlic, salt, pepper and a splash of lemon juice, and process until very smooth. Use as a dip for vegetables and chips, or as a sandwich spread.

3 Salsa: Dice and toss together 1 medium zucchini, 1 large tomatillo and 1/2 red or orange bell pepper. Add 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, a pinch of red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon chopped pickled jalapenos and a splash of hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

4 Fries: Cut the zucchini into 1/2-inch-thick sticks, then toss them first in a beaten egg, then in seasoned breadcrumbs. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet, then bake until crisp outside and just tender inside. As soon as they come out of the oven, sprinkle them with grated Parmesan cheese.

5 Boats: Slice a zucchini in half, then use a melon baller to scoop out the insides of each half. Mix together loose sausage meat, grated cheese and chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Pack the mixture into the hollowed out zucchini halves, then bake or grill (over low heat) until cooked through.

6 Frittata: Use a mandoline or food processor to slice the zucchini as thinly as possible. Whisk six or so eggs, then pour them into an oiled pan and cook over medium-high heat until the bottom is just set. Scatter the zucchini slices evenly over the top of the egg, then crumble feta over it. Broil until lightly browned and the center is set.

7 Grain salad: Toss finely diced raw zucchini with cooked and cooled farro or barley, halved cherry tomatoes, diced red onion and crumbled soft goat cheese. Dress with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

8 Tart: Use a mandoline or food processor to slice the zucchini as thinly as possible. Unfold a sheet of puff pastry (thawed according to package directions). Run a paring knife along the outside of the pastry about 1 inch from the edge and cutting only halfway down. Arrange the zucchini slices in the center, then sprinkle with grated Parmesan. Bake at 400 degrees until puffed and lightly browned.

9 Chips: Use a mandoline or food processor to slice the zucchini as thinly as possible. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet, mist with cooking spray, then season with herbs, spices, salt and pepper, whatever you like. Bake at 375 degrees until the chips are nicely browned.

10 Casserole: Cut a whole mess of zucchini into 1/2-inch rounds. Arrange several layers of them in an oiled casserole dish. Top with a bit of marinara and some ricotta cheese. Repeat this layering until you fill the casserole dish about three-quarters of the way. Bake at 350 degrees until tender, lightly browned and bubbling at the edges.

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