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A Mean Zucchini Slice Of Life

By Eileen Goltz
We must truly be living in an alternate universe. I, the queen of all that dies in the garden, planted seeds for zucchini plants, knowing they wouldn’t grow. Somehow, despite my neglect, lack of rain, then too much rain, bunnies, and a strange-looking bug I’m convinced is a tarantula, they grew! Despite my best efforts to fail at urban farming, I find myself with about 27 medium to ginormous zucchini, 4 eggplants, and something that resembles tomatoes but are a bit too green, lumpy, and buggy to actually be eaten, yet.
So the culinary dilemma facing me is these unexpected, yet very welcome, zucchini that seem to be multiplying like Tribbles (Star Trek TV series reference for those under 30). I called, e-mailed, and begged fellow foodies to share something other than zucchini bread recipes, and the following six recipes are some the best of the 35 that showed up in my e-mail. Because they are so plentiful right now and we’re all going to be looking for something special to serve at our yom tov tables, I suggest you try them all and then pick the ones you like best to serve to your family and friends. All of them can be made ahead of time and reheated. v
Zucchini Fritters
Dairy or pareve
Makes 2 to 3 dozen, depending on the size
oil for frying
1 cup milk or non-dairy substitute (I’ve tried it with almond and rice milk)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups flour
⅓ cup Parmesan cheese (optional)
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1-ounce package ranch-style powdered dip mix
4 cups shredded zucchini, drained very well in a colander, then place on paper towels
Fill a deep fryer or deep saucepan with oil to about 2” deep. While the oil is heating, in a bowl, combine the milk and eggs, and whisk to combine.
Add everything else to the egg mixture except the zucchini and stir to combine. Gently fold in zucchini.
Drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls into hot oil. Fry until deep golden brown, turning once. Drain thoroughly on paper towels.
Zesty Zucchini
Oven Fries
Makes enough for 4 sides; can be doubled or tripled
3 nice-size zucchini cut in half, then cut into quarters, and then eighths
1 egg
¼ cup milk
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
½ cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
nonstick spray
Preheat oven to 425°. Grease a cookie sheet with nonstick spray and set it aside. Cut the zucchini into 4-inch sticks.
In a bowl, whisk the egg and milk together. In another bowl, combine the Parmesan cheese, oregano, basil, and seasoned breadcrumbs.
Dip the zucchini sticks in the egg mixture, and then roll them in the breadcrumb mixture, making sure they are totally coated, and then place them on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 25–30 minutes or until golden brown.
Submitted by Roger Nissensen, Chicago, IL
Corn Zucchini Tomato Bake
Dairy or pareve
cooking spray
2 large zucchini, sliced into rounds
1½ cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
6 green onions, sliced thin, green and white parts
1¼ lb. sliced tomatoes
2–3 Tbsp. olive oil
½ to ¾ cup panko
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°. Grease a 9”×13” baking pan with nonstick spray. Layer the sliced zucchini, corn kernels, green onions, and sliced tomatoes. Drizzle the olive oil over the top. In a bowl, combine the panko and Parmesan, and sprinkle the mixture on top.
Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown. Cover with foil, and bake for another 10 minutes. Serve immediately.
Submitted by Candice Margolis Sweet, Baltimore MD
Zucchini And Spinach Strata
Serves 4 to 6
8-oz. container whipped Boursin cheese spread
2 cups ricotta cheese
⅓ cup chopped fresh basil
1 tsp. salt
5 medium zucchini (about 2½ lb.), thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
10-oz. package fresh spinach
2 tsp. minced garlic
6 no-boil lasagna noodles
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese for topping
Preheat oven to 425°. Grease a 9”×9” pan and set it aside. In a bowl, combine the cream cheese, ricotta cheese, basil, and salt. Mix to combine and set aside.
In a skillet, sauté the zucchini in hot oil for 3–4 minutes or until lightly browned. Add the spinach and cook about 1 minute, gently tossing just until wilted. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Spoon one-third of vegetables into the prepared baking dish. Top with two noodles and one-third of ricotta mixture. Repeat twice.
Sprinkle the top with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Bake, covered with lightly greased aluminum foil, for 25–30 minutes or until bubbly and noodles are tender.
Uncover and bake 5–10 minutes or until the top is golden. Let rest for 10 minutes before trying to cut it, as it needs to firm up a bit.
Submitted by Caren Sposepe, modified from Southern Living
Lemon-And-Poppy Zucchini Muffins
Dairy or pareve
Makes 12
½ cup butter or margarine, softened
1⅓ cups sugar
3 large eggs
1½ cups flour
½ tsp. salt
⅛ tsp. baking soda
½ cup sour cream
1 cup shredded zucchini
2 Tbsp. lemon zest, divided
1 Tbsp. poppy seeds
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
⅓ to ½ cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 325°. Grease a 12-muffin tin. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar until creamy, for at least 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended. In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking soda.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with sour cream; beat just until blended. By hand, stir into the zucchini 1 tablespoon lemon zest and the poppy seeds. Spoon batter into the prepared muffin pan. Bake for 25–30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes before removing to a cooling rack and cool.
In a bowl, combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, and powdered sugar. Mix to combine. Drizzle over the top of the muffins. You may need to add more powdered sugar or lemon juice to get the consistency you want for the drizzle.
Submitted by Roz Vinegrad, New York NY
Zucchini With Peppers And Couscous
Pareve or meat
Serves 4 to 6
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
¾ cup couscous
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 large zucchini, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 red bell pepper, cut into small pieces
1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained
½ tsp. chili powder
¼ tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. black pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Bring broth to a boil in a small saucepan; add the couscous, stir, cover, and remove from heat. Let stand for 10 minutes.
In a skillet, heat the oil and sauté the onion, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute. Add the zucchini and red pepper and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Stir occasionally, until just tender, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the water chestnuts, chili powder, cumin, and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2–3 minutes. Stir the zucchini mixture into couscous and then let cool to room temperature. Just before serving, stir in the parsley and lemon juice.
My files, modified from Gourmet, September 2005
© Eileen Goltz
Eileen Goltz is a freelance kosher foods writer. She graduated from Indiana University and the Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Paris. She lectures on various food-related topics across the U.S. and Canada and writes columns for the CJN in Chicago,, and the OU Shabbat Shalom website, She also wrote the Perfectly Pareve Cookbook (Feldheim).

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Posted by on August 28, 2014. Filed under In This Week's Edition. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.