Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Too Much Zucchini?

It's the biggest disappointment of my summer.

We bought 6 zucchini plants and not a single one has produced a zucchini.

I know, you're probably rolling your eyes. You've probably got zucchini coming out of your ears!

Thankfully, a farmer that works near my mom's job was going door to door passing off his zucchini abundance, so we happily took some off his hands.

I love zucchini. It's the only time of the year I use my food processor and I love my food processor. Seriously. The food processor is a remarkable gadget. We have a bajillion zucchini recipes and it almost seems criminal to go through summer without having to eat it morning, noon, and night just to get rid of it. I love watching my brother's faces when my mom and I plunk a baked good on the counter and they eye it suspiciously. "Is this really chocolate cake? Or does it have that zucchini stuff in it?" they ask. Sometimes we sneak it by them. Most of the time they catch on. How about your family? Do you try to sneak it in to their food?

One of our favorite recipes to sneak zucchini is "Mock Apple Crisp." The zucchini is peeled, seeded, and diced and sauteed with cinnamon and sugar, poured over a shortbread crust, and baked. It's delicious. My brothers ate the whole thing before they realized it was zucchini!

Mock Apple Crisp
8 cups peeled, chopped zucchini
2/3 cup lemon juice
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups butter, chilled

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook and stir zucchini and lemon juice until zucchini is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and nutmeg and cook one minute more. Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 10x15 inch baking dish. In a large bowl, combine flour and 2 cups sugar. Cut in butter with pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Stir 1/2 cup of butter mixture into zucchini mixture.

Press half of remaining butter mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Spread zucchini mixture over top of crust, and sprinkle remaining butter mixture over zucchini. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon cinnamon.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until top is golden. Serve warm or cold.

Another favorite recipe is to make a carrot zucchini cake using a boxed carrot cake mix. You could totally switch up the cake mix and do a spice cake, yellow, or even a chocolate cake. Try different extracts too. We've done a spice cake with rum extract and it was delicious.
Easy Carrot Zucchini Cake
1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist Carrot Cake Mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce (or 1/2 cup oil
1 Tbls vanilla
2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup golden raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 13x9 inch pan or two 8x8 inch pans.

In large bowl, beat cake mix, eggs, apple sauce, and vanilla on low speed for 30 seconds or until combined. Turn the speed up to high and beat for 2 minutes. Stir in zucchini and raisins. Pour into pan and bake for 45-50 minutes.

But if you feel like something savory, this is my absolute favorite. I think my mom found this in a Pillsbury catalog a few years ago. It is delicious! Consider using fresh herbs from your garden in place of the dried herbs.

Zucchini Crescent Pie
2 Tbls butter
4 cups thinly sliced zucchini
1 cup chopped onions
2 Tbls dried parsley flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried basil leaves
1/4 tsp dried oregano leaves
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups shredded Muenster or mozzarella cheese (8 oz)
1 can (8 oz) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
2 tsps yellow mustard

Heat oven to 375°F. In 12-inch skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and onions; cook 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Stir in parsley flakes, salt, pepper, garlic powder, basil and oregano.

In large bowl, mix eggs and cheese. Add cooked vegetable mixture; stir gently to mix.

Separate dough into 8 triangles. Place in ungreased 10-inch glass pie plate, 12x8-inch (2-quart) glass baking dish or 11-inch quiche pan; press over bottom and up sides to form crust. Firmly press perforations to seal. Spread crust with mustard. Pour egg mixture evenly into crust-lined pie plate.

Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. If necessary, cover edge of crust with strips of foil during last 10 minutes of baking to prevent excessive browning.

Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

So how about you? Everyone has a zucchini recipe. Got a great recipe to share with another poor person overwhelmed with zucchini? Feel free to share in the comments section!

--Erin :)


  1. For Erin
    Basil Jelly

    1 cup (lightly packed) fresh basil leaves - the fresher the better!
    1 cup white vinegar
    1 Tbsp lemon juice
    2 cups water
    6 1/2 cups sugar
    Two 3 oz. pouches Certo liquid pectin
    Green food coloring (just enough to give it a nice emerald green color,
    about 7 drops or up to 1 teaspoon full)

    Place the basil leaves, lemon juice and vinegar in an 8 to 10 quart sauce
    pot. The larger size is necessary since this recipe boils up a LOT. Let
    the basil, lemon juice and vinegar stand while you are measuring the two
    cups water. Add the water and food coloring. Heat almost to
    boil, stirring to blend, then add all the sugar at once. Stir to
    dissolve sugar. Bring to hard boil, add two 3-ounce pouches of Certo
    liquid pectin, 6 ounces total. (Make sure to get as much of the 6 ounces
    as you can into the kettle, and not all over your hands and stove, like I
    normally do! The jelly will not set without all the pectin.) Bring back
    to boil, boil hard for 1 minute or until jelly point is reached. Remove
    from heat. Remove basil leaves with slotted spoon. Pour immediately
    into hot, sterilized 1/2 pint jars, seal and process 10 minutes in
    boiling water bath. Makes 6 to 7 half pints.

  2. Zucchini Bread - Vegan Style
    I made this recipe because my 4 year old son has a food allergy. Little did I know it would become everyone's favorite!
    3 cups all purpose flour
    1tsp salt
    1 tspn baking soda
    2 tspns ground cinnamon
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1 cup unsweetened applesauce
    1 cup white sugar
    1 cup packed brown sugar
    3/4 cup vegetable oil
    2 tspns vanilla extract
    2 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
    1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 9x5 inch loaf pans. Wisk together flour, salt, bakingsoda, cinnamon and baking powder in a bowl until evenly blended.
    2. Wisk together the applesauce, white sugar, brown sugar, oil and vanilla extract in a bowl until smooth. Fold in the flour mixture and zucchini until moistoned. Divide the batter between the prepared pans.
    3. Bake about 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on wire rack. Smells so good you won't get it to cool completely before you cut into it.


Thanks for taking time to share your thoughts - we love it when you do!

~ Jack & Erin

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