Cheryl’s Cuisine: September 2020

Cheryl's cuisine

Summer vegetables on Cheryl’s kitchen counter challenge her creativity in preparing summer meals. This month we’re featuring zucchini on top shelf. Bottom shelf highlights perfect summer tomatoes and her husband’s Super Marconi Pole Beans.

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

Right now,  I’m looking at zucchini on my kitchen counter.  Yes, I’ve made zucchini pizza, zucchini squares, zucchini pancakes, zucchini bread, etc., however, my husband is “tired” of the “same old, same old,” which prompted me to look for new, exciting ways to serve the summer vegetable. 

That is, if you consider zucchini “exciting”.  By itself, it’s definitely NOT.  It’s what you add to it that gives it flavor.  Here are some new, exciting ways to serve the vegetable, which grows prolifically in almost every garden:

 Zucchini & Tomato Gratin:

3 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
4 medium tomatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. thyme
1/4  tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2-3 Tbsp. olive oil

Layer 1/2 of the zucchini and 1/2 of the tomatoes in a greased 8×8″ baking dish.  Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese.  Layer the remaining zucchini and tomatoes over the Parmesan cheese.  Sprinkle with garlic, thyme, salt and pepper.  Drizzle with the olive oil.  Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.  Bake in 400 degree oven to 20-25 minutes or until bubbly.  Serves 4-6.

***

 Zucchini and Cheese Casserole:

3 cups zucchini, grated
1 cup cracker crumbs
1 cup grated or shredded Cheddar Cheese
2 eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp. chopped onion
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
1/2 tsp. Lawry’s seasoning
Pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients and put into a well-buttered 2- quart casserole.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  Serves 6.

***

Zucchini and Linguine:

1 lb. linguine
2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/3 tsp. basil 
Grated Cheese
2-3 medium zucchini 
1/3 tsp. oregano
2 cloves minced garlic

Cut zucchini into julienne strips.  Salt and let sit in a strainer about 1 hour.  Then drain zucchini on paper towels, which have been layered, until moist of moisture is gone.  Heat oil.  Saute’ zucchini, garlic and spices in oil.  Pour over drained, al dente linguine and toss.  Top with grated cheese.  Serves 4.

***

 Posh Squash:

2 lbs. zucchini, sliced
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 small onion, chopped
2 large eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 cup bread crumbs

Spray casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Cook squash in boiling water until tender.  Drain and cool.  Mash cooked squash.  Combine mayonnaise, cheese, onion and eggs.  Stir into mashed squash and pour into casserole dish.  For topping, combine melted butter and bread crumbs.  Spoon on top.   Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Serves 4.

***

Oriental Zucchini Saute:

2 zucchini, sauteed in olive oil or butter
1/2 cup butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 small minced onions, sauteed
1 can sliced water chestnuts
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp. soy sauce

After zucchini and onion have been sauteed , combine all other ingredients in microwave bowl. Heat a few minutes to blend flavors.  Pour over zucchini and serve.   Serves 4.

***

Zucchini with Sour Cream:

3 medium zucchini
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. grated cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
Paprika
1 Tbsp. chopped chives
1/4 cup buttered bread crumbs
Additional grated cheese

Slice washed, unpeeled zucchini into thin rounds; simmer, covered, in a small amount of water for about 6-8 minutes, shaking pan frequently.  Drain.  Combine sour cream, butter, 2 Tbsp. grated cheese, salt, pepper and paprika; stir over low heat to melt cheese.  Remove from heat and mix in chives; toss lightly with zucchini.  Place in buttered flat baking dish; top with crumbs and sprinkle with additional cheese.  Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes. 

NOTE: This can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated, but increase baking time to 30 minutes.  Serves 6.

***

Zucchini Beef Skillet:

1 lb. ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. chili powder
3 cups sliced zucchini
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup water
2 cups corn
2 Tbsp. chopped pimento
Chopped parsley

Saute’ beef, onion, and pepper in large skillet until browned.  Add remaining ingredients.  Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Serves 4-6.

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