Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Week of Zucchini Dishes

or The Vegetable That Keeps Giving and Giving 

or Today's Equivalent of the Loaves and Fishes--Zucchini

Our zucchini with tomato for comparison

Recently, Aunt Martha gave us a zucchini from her garden. It was one of those that somehow got hidden and grew to almost the size of a baseball bat before it was found and harvested. Our goal last week was to eat it until it was gone. We knew it was big, but didn't think that we would be able to cook it in five different dishes before we saw the last of it. But we did. Below are our results with links to the recipes we used.

Day One: Zucchini Patties
We were having salmon cakes this day so it seemed like a natural accompaniment.  The cakes were basically pan fried shredded zucchini and bread crumbs. Everyone liked the taste, but Theo and I weren't crazy about the texture. I thought they were a little gooey from too many bread crumbs, and Theo didn't like the stringiness of the shredded zucchini. I got a tip for this recipe from the Frugal Girl.  

Day Two: Zucchini and Cheese Casserole
This has been a favorite recipe in our family for many years and is a favorite of guests.  It is a baked casserole containing zucchini chunks, eggs, cottage and shredded cheese topped with bread crumbs. I usually add another vegetable like broccoli or asparagus to give it more flavor. This recipe comes from Jane Brody's Good Food Book.

Day Three: Hearty Tuna Casserole
This recipe was given to us a few years ago from a friend when were trying to find new ways to cook zucchini. We make other tuna casseroles, but this is my favorite. The dish contains the standards for a tuna casserole including noodles, tuna, sour cream, and shredded cheese. However, there are layers of zucchini slices in it as well as diced tomatoes on the top. We leave out the mustard and green onions as a favor to Ward and still find it very tasty. A word of warning: the zucchini and celery take far longer to cook than the 30 minutes allotted for the casserole. We cook them a little before we add them to the dish so it doesn't take forever to bake.

Day Four: Oatmeal Zucchini Bread
For years, I have been carrying around this recipe for zucchini bread that included cooked oatmeal. Last week, I finally made it. The bread was very good but was dense and gooey. This may have been because the recipe called for three eggs and I only had two. I read somewhere on the internet that you can substitute milk for an egg and you will never know the difference. Well, I think we knew the difference. However, the four loaves disappeared in less than 24 hours.

Day Five: Continental Zucchini
 As we were brain storming about what we were going to do with the last of the zucchini, Ward remembered a dish he had as a child-- continental zucchini. This dish is stir fried zucchini and garlic with corn and pimentos added. The whole thing is topped with melted mozzarella cheese. When we made it, we also added some yellow squash that we had. Everyone liked this dish. However, Ward thought it could use black pepper. Also, this dish would lend itself well to the addition of sweet or hot peppers We may try that next time.

Zucchini dishes from last week.