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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Zucchini Give-Away Happening Now

By Sherrie Norris

If there’s one thing you can count on this time every year, the neighborhood zucchini give-away is it. And, I am thrilled to be on the receiving end, especially this year. With family health concerns and a busier-than-normal spring, we chose to forgo planting a garden, and we are seriously now missing the convenience of taking a few steps to retrieve a squash for supper, a bucket of beans to preserve and tomatoes for our favorite sauce. But, we do have friends and relatives who planted and are sharing the bounty. For that, we are grateful!

Among summer’s garden goods, I think it’s safe to say the most misunderstood and under-rated vegetable must surely be the poor old cousin to the crookneck squash, the zucchini.  It does seem that these shiny green things produce over-night and are overwhelmingly abundant.  A friend once threatened to lock his door to keep us well-meaning gardeners from sharing our goods with him, day after day after day.

Can you have too much zucchini?  The jury is still out on that one, but in the meantime, let’s talk about the many ways we can put them to use.

I have learned to shred, slice, dice, stuff, bake, broil, grill, steam and enjoy zucchini in a number of different ways. Hopefully, you will find a solution to the great zucchini adventure and learn to love them instead of dread them.

Shred and stir 1 cup into a brownie mix for super-rich treats.

Slice in rounds and add to tossed salad instead of cucumber

Bake in a dish along with canned stewed tomatoes, shredded mozzarella cheese and crushed herb-stuffing mix.

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes until bubbly and Parmesan it golden brown.

Grill after brushing long slices with Italian Dressing

Zucchini Casserole

4 slices bread, cubed

2 T. butter, melted

1 medium unpeeled zucchini, grated

1 tomato, peeled and sliced

1 green pepper, grated

1 large onion, sliced

American cheese slices

Salt and pepper

Toss bread cubes with melted butter. In a greased casserole dish, layer zucchini, tomato, pepper, onion, bread and cheese. Lightly sprinkle tomato layers with salt and pepper. Bake for one hour at 350 degrees.

Zucchini Squares

4 eggs, beaten

½ cup oil

½ cup grated onion

2 cups grated zucchini

½ cup Bisquick

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Garlic powder to taste

½ tsp. basil

½ tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350. Grease baking dish. Combine all 9 ingredients in bowl; mix well. Spoon into prepared dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until set and lightly browned.  Cut into squares. Makes about 9 servings.

Quick Zucchini Cake

1 box yellow cake mix

4 eggs

½ cup vegetable oil

1 T. vanilla extract

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 cups grated unpeeled zucchini

½ cup raisins (optional)

½ cup chopped nuts

confectioners’ sugar (optional)

In mixing bowl, beat cake mix, eggs, oil, vanilla, and cinnamon for 6-7 minutes. Fold in zucchini, raisins and nuts. Spoon into a greased and floured 10 inch fluted tube pan (or Bundt pan). Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes. Cool and dust with sugar if desired.

Zucchini Pie

4 cups sliced zucchini

¼ cup butter

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. oregano

¼ tsp. garlic powder

1 ½ cups shredded Mozzarella cheese

1 cup diced onions

2 Tbsp. parsley flakes

½ tsp. pepper

¼ tsp. basil

2 eggs, beaten

1 (8oz.) can dinner rolls

In saucepan, combine zucchini, onions, butter, and spices. Cook until tender. Add eggs and cheese. Press dinner rolls into a 9×9 pan to form crust. Pour in zucchini mixture. Bake at 375 for 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven. Let stand for a few minutes before slicing.