I don’t know about you, but I am up to my eyeballs in homegrown zucchini. It is peak zucchini season and every one I speak to seems to be inundated with homegrown, monstorous zucchinis. So I have decided to write up a little article about some creative and tasty ways to eat all those zucchinis that are lurking/hiding in your veggie patch!
This first recipe is Zucchini Fries. They’re fun, tasty and pretty quick to make. These are great dipped in your favourite sauce or eaten as a vegetable side. They’re also a fun way to get kids involved in the kitchen. The second recipe is another great way of using up zucchini and is the perfect way to feed that extra serve of vegetables to children (or anyone for that matter who is some what fussy about vegetables!). These are my Zucchini chocolate brownies. The final recipe is an old classic Italian recipe. This is a Neil Perry recipe however if you are working with very large, overgrown zucchinis, I suggest salting them for half an hour then washing off the salt before using them. This will draw out some of the excess water.
olive oil cooking spray
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 1/2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp table salt
3/4 cup(s) dried plain breadcrumbs, panko-variety suggested
2 medium uncooked zucchini
2 large eggs, beaten
Preheat oven to 200ºC. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. In a small bowl, mix together Italian seasoning, flour and salt. Place bread crumbs in another small bowl.Slice each zucchini in half lengthwise and then each half into 2 pieces widthwise. Next slice each zucchini chunk into 4 fries. Dredge a zucchini fry in flour mixture and then dip into egg whites; dredge in bread crumbs. Place coated zucchini on prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining ingredients; liberally coat with cooking spray.
Roast, turning once, until desired crispness, about 12 minutes.
Zucchini Chocolate Brownies
½ cup coconut oil (another vegetable oil will work as well)
1½ cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used dark)
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups finely shredded zucchini
Preheat oven 180C
Lightly spray or grease a 9×13 baking pan and line the bottom with baking paper. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar and vanilla until smooth and well-combined. Sprinkle the flour, cocoa powder, soda and salt over the wet ingredients and stir until just incorporated.
Fold in the zucchini and mix for just a few seconds or until batter is well combined. Spread into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the middle of the pan comes out with a few moist crumbs.
Allow brownies to cool completely before cutting into squares.
1kg ripe vine-ripened tomatoes, scored
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for shallow-frying
1 brown onion, diced
1 1/2 tbsp finely chopped garlic
3 tbsp small oregano leaves, chopped
1/2 cup milk
4 free-range eggs
1 cup plain flour, seasoned
6 large green zucchinis, sliced lengthways 3mm thick
200g parmesan, grated
200g mozzarella, sliced
1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves, torn
1 cup stale sourdough bread, roughly chopped
Blanch tomatoes in a pot of boiling salted water for 30-60 seconds. Remove and plunge into ice-cold water. Peel away skins, de-seed and dice.
In a frying pan, heat 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil on a medium heat. Add onion and salt and sauté for five minutes. Add 1 tbsp of garlic and continue to cook until caramelised, then add the diced tomatoes, 2 tbsp oregano leaves and pepper. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until tomatoes break down and sauce thickens (about 20 minutes). Set aside..Whisk together milk, eggs, a pinch of salt and a grind of pepper. Place flour in a shallow bowl. Heat some oil on a medium heat in a large frying pan for shallow-frying. Working in batches, lightly flour the zucchini slices, then dip in egg mix and fry each side until golden (about a minute each side). Drain on paper towel.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush some oil on the inside of a 2 1/2-litre baking dish. Layer some of the tomato sauce mix on the bottom, top with a layer of zucchini, then with layers of parmesan, mozzarella and basil. Repeat until all ingredients are used, finishing with a layer of cheese. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden. Process bread and remaining garlic together to form breadcrumbs. Heat 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan and cook crumbs over a low heat until golden and crisp, set aside to cool. Stir through remaining oregano. Garnish dish with crispy breadcrumbs and serve.
So give these recipes a go. Hopefully they help you use those zucchinis lurking in your garden and hopefully you enjoy these creative and different ways to use zucchini. Enjoy the season!