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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Love Your Neighbor: Share The Zucchini

By Sherrie Norris

There’s a timeless joke about zucchini and how, by summer’s end, everyone has had their fill, so the only way to get neighbors to accept one more green “gift,” is to take it to their doorstep, ring the doorbell and run.

If nothing else grows in a garden, chances are the zucchinis will.

I find many uses for it — raw in salads and vegetable platters, cooked, steamed, sautéed, fried, baked or microwaved, chopped and in desserts or frozen and used for later. It’s a versatile little veggie, for sure.

Good quality zucchini should be firm, smooth-skinned and not too big. The surface should be shiny and dark green in color. Avoid those that are soft, wrinkled, blemished or dull in appearance. Large squash will be less tender than smaller ones and won’t have the same taste.


Zucchini Beef Bake

(A recipe shared with me years ago by my late aunt, Jean O’Connor)

2 zucchini (sliced in ¼-inch slices

1 lb. ground beef

¼ cup chopped onion

8 oz. can tomato sauce

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. basil or oregano

¼ tsp. pepper

½ lb. Mozzarella cheese

Layer a 9 x 13-inch pan (greased) with zucchini. Brown ground beef with onion. Pour off grease. Stir in tomato sauce, salt, pepper, and basil or oregano. Pour over zucchini. Spread grated Mozzarella cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.


Zucchini Squares 

3 cups thinly chopped or diced zucchini

½ cup chopped onion

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 to 3 Tbsp. parsley

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. oregano

2 dashes Tabasco (optional)

1 tsp. garlic powder

½ cup oil

4 eggs, beaten

1 cup Bisquick

Mix all ingredients together except Bisquick. Stir in Bisquick and pour into 13 x 9-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Cut into squares. Small cuts for great appetizer or larger ones for main dish, served with green salad and fruit.


Batter Fried Zucchini



Oil for frying

Mix Bisquick with enough water to make a thick batter. Slice the zucchini about 1/8-inch thick. Heat oil to hot, but not smoking, Dip each zucchini slice in batter and fry until golden on each side. Salt/season while you drain. (Italian seasonings add nice touch.)


Easy Zucchini Sticks        

3 medium zucchini, unpeeled

1 large egg, beaten

2 Tbsp. olive oil

¾ cups bread crumbs

2 Tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Combine crumbs, cheese and pepper; put aside. Cut zucchini in half and then lengthwise into sticks. Dip into beaten egg and roll in the breadcrumb mixture.

Place on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Preheat oven to 375; bake the sticks for 20 minutes. When tender, turn on broiler and broil for about 3 minutes until golden brown.

Good dipped in a marinara sauce.

Makes approximately 25 sticks.


Zucchini Bread

2 cups shredded raw zucchini

3 eggs

1¾ cups sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

2 cups all-purpose flour

¼ tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. vanilla

1 cup chopped walnuts

Press or squeeze liquid from zucchini. Beat eggs, sugar, and oil together. Add flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, salt, vanilla, and walnuts. Mix together by hand.

Add drained zucchini. Mix well. Pour into 2 greased and floured loaf pans. Bake 55 to 65 minutes at 350°, or until fork or wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.