Tag Archives: zucchini

Zucchini Salsa

Zucchini Salsa

If there is one single vegetable in this world that will make my husband cringe with disgust, it’s zucchini.  He has despised zucchini as long as I’ve known him and quite frankly, his extreme disdain for it perplexes me to this day.  He says it’s the taste.  Sometimes he says it’s the texture…   And, I completely disagree with him.  Fortunately, it’s one of the few things that we don’t see eye to eye on…  I look at it this way, there’s nothing wrong with a little healthy disagreement.  If Bruce and I were in unison on everything, I think our life together would be so boring :).

Zucchini squash is one of my favorite summer vegetables and I grow it every year in my little garden.  I like zucchini because it is so amazingly versatile.  It cooks quickly and marries well with a variety of flavors.  Not to mention, it grows like a weed and if you are not careful, you can end up with more zucchini than your family can eat.  That’s why I check on my plants everyday and pick my zucchini when they are young and tender.  Any overabundance, I simply bag it up and take to work to share with my coworkers.

My zucchini salsa is a great use for those extra zucchinis that you don’t want to give away.  It’s fresh, bright with flavor and super easy to make.  Zucchini salsa taste great with crunchy tortilla chips or wrapped up in a fish taco.  Be brave and add some fresh jalapeno peppers for a fiery flavor.  Enjoy!  Tessa

 Ingredients

  • 2 cups zucchini (diced)
  • 1 cup onion (diced)
  • 1 cup red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup cilantro (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • few dashes hot sauce to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • jalapenos (diced)  **optional**

Begin by adding olive oil to a nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  Add onion and red bell pepper and cook until onion is opaque or about one minute.  Add zucchini, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper.  Cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the zucchini is cooked.  Do not over cook.  Add to a bowl, stir in lime juice, cilantro and hot sauce.  Place covered in refrigerator for at least 4 hours.  You want to let this sit and chill so the flavors marry well.

Before serving, add salsa to food processor and lightly pulse until coarsely chopped.  Add a splash of water if the mixture is too thick.  Taste and correct your seasonings.  Place in serving bowl and serve with crispy tortilla chips.  Makes about 2 cups.

Lime Zucchini Pineapple Bread

Lime Zucchini Pineapple Bread

Over 25 years ago I created a quick bread called Lemon Zucchini Pineapple Bread.  I posted the bread recipe on my website about a year ago and it was a real hit.  Since limes are some of my favorite citrus fruits, I naturally thought it would be a great idea to substitute the lemon flavor with the lime.

With zucchinis growing like crazy in my little garden, I thought I would give my new quick bread idea a try…  I grabbed my garden basket, a sharp knife and my camera and headed out to the garden.  While picking my zucchinis I had to stop and check out the other plants in the vicinity.

Fresh picked zucchini.

Grape leaf.  I just love the shape, color and its jagged edges.

Some of the first tomatoes of the year.  These are the Sun Gold variety.  Whenever I weed or water my garden I stop by and pop a few of these juicy tomatoes in my mouth.  I also like to pick a handful for my lunch or for a snack while I am working at my desk.

Part of my little garden.  I try to utilize as much space as possible.  Lemon cucumbers share the same pot as edible nasturtiums.  Winter squash, yellow zucchini and green zucchini share a small 3 by 8 foot planting strip.  There’s even mammoth sunflowers growing behind them in the strip.  No space in my little garden goes underutilized.  Plants have to learn to share space if they want to exist in my garden.  I make it a point rotate my crops from year to year to ensure good soil health.  Rotating crops means I will not put plants in the same place as they were planted last year.  Zucchini squash might get planted where tomatoes used to reside the prior year and vice versa.

Fresh home grown zucchini ready to be picked.  Later on that afternoon this zucchini ended up in my Lime Zucchini Pineapple Bread.  Adding the fresh squeezed lime juice, brightly flavored lime zest and sweet crushed pineapple makes a delicious loaf of zucchini bread.  It’s light, moist and perfect for a quick breakfast or with a cup of coffee on break.

To prove that my recipe was a keeper, I had to test my new bread recipe on Bruce without telling him what was in it…  First of all, the man claims to hate zucchini.  He would not try it in a million years if I told him that there was zucchini in it.  Unknown to him, I slip zucchini in many of the dishes that I prepare for him.  Okay… I guess what he does not know won’t hurt him.  I look at it this way.  I’m doing him a huge favor.  He’s eating his veggies without really knowing it.

After I pulled the loaves out of the oven and let them cool, I walked downstairs with a huge grin and popped a piece of the Lime Zucchini Pineapple Bread in his mouth as he relaxed on the couch.  He looked back at me and told me that it tasted good.  I then happily confessed to him that there was zucchini in it… Makes 2 fabulous loaves.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 8 oz can crushed pineapple drained well
  • 2 cups zucchini grated
  • 1 Tbs lime zest
  • 1 Tbs lime juice

Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.  Grab 2- 4″ X 8″ baking pans and grease well.  In a medium sized bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix well.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, canola oil, pineapple, zucchini, lime juice and lime zest.  Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Mix until moistened.  Do not over mix.  This will look like a thick cake batter, and that is okay, it’s supposed to be that way.  Add the mixture to the two baking pans and bake for 1 hour or until done.  Cool on wire racks then remove loaves from pans.  Slice and serve!

Mini Zucchini White Eggplant Panini

Every Thursday there is a farmer’s market about a mile away from where I work.  Yesterday I was able to sneak over and visit on my lunch hour.  I love stopping by because as the season changes there is something different every week.  Yesterday, while walking through the booths and pickup trucks heaped with fresh picked corn and baskets of zucchini in the back, I spied some gorgeous white eggplant.  I don’t why but I have never seen white eggplant before…

These eggplants were a gorgeous white color and according to the farmer that I purchased them from, they are the “crescent moon” variety.  I went ahead and bought three not knowing what I was going to make with them.  Within an hour of my purchase,  I knew what I was going to make.  I had some fresh picked zucchini and heirloom tomatoes from my own little pocket garden and all I had to do was stop by the bakery on the way home from work and snag a fresh baked baguette…

And voila!  Mini Zucchini White Eggplant Paninis.  There is no use jotting down a recipe as long as you can measure and grill.  The key to this dish is to find eggplant, bread, tomatoes and zucchini all of the same diameter.  Begin by slicing the vegetables into half inch slices.  The bread can be as thick or thin as you want it.  I brushed the bread, zucchini and eggplant with olive oil, sprinkled on some sea salt and grilled them.  I added fresh mozzarella cheese to the eggplant and let it melt.  I then assembled the mini paninis while adding a small slice of prosciutto and garnished with some fresh basil leaves and cherry tomatoes.

I served these paninis to my family with a side of fresh garden salad.  These mini paninis would be a great for lunch or dinner and depending on the size of your ingredients, or as a really cool appetizer to make for your next party.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients (for one Mini Zucchini White Eggplant Panini)

  • 2 slices fresh baguette
  • 1 slice zucchini
  • 1 slice white eggplant
  • 1 slice heirloom tomato
  • 1 ounce fresh mozzarella
  • 2 basil leaves
  • olive oil for brushing
  • small slice prosciutto
  • pinch sea salt
  • basil and cherry tomatoes for garnish

Zucchini Basil Bisque

In my little garden I planted only one zucchini plant this year.  I have learned my lesson from prior years and I made sure that I did not grow any more zucchini than I needed this season.  Everything was going fine until I realized that I have generous friends with tons of zucchini in their gardens.  Lately, I have found bags of zucchini on my front porch, bags of zucchini on my back porch, my husband comes home with zucchinis from work, my sister even secretly shoved a couple of the zucchinis in my handbag the other night when we were at at her home for dinner.  Seriously, if everyone in this world planted just one  zucchini plant in their yard I believe that we would on the way to ending world hunger…

Here is a simple recipe for Zucchini Basil Bisque for those extra zucchinis that you may have grown or have been  gifted.  It’s light, tasty and is perfect with some crusty French bread or a grilled cheese.  It’s easy to make and it tastes fabulous.  Makes about 2 quarts or 8 servings.  Enjoy! – Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 6 c. zucchini (chopped)
  • 1/8 c. shallots (sliced)
  • 1 Tbls. butter
  • 1/4 c. fresh basil leaves packed lightly
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. mace
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 c. heavy cream

In a large saucepan saute the zucchini, shallots, and butter until tender, about 15-20 minutes.   Add remaining ingredients except heavy cream.  Grab an immersion blender and blend until smooth.  Cook for an additional 10 minutes and then add the heavy cream.  Cook for a few minutes more until heated through.   Taste and correct the seasoning if necessary.  Ladle into bowls or cups.  Garnish with fresh basil, zucchini threads or with finely chopped red bell peppers.

 

 

Lemon Zucchini Pineapple Bread

It’s summer here in Southern Oregon and in no time I will be dealing with the onslaught of fresh zucchini from my garden.  I learned from mistakes of prior years, and this year I planted only one zucchini plant.  There have been times that I had so much zucchini that I could not even give them away.  One of the things that I like to make with fresh zucchini from my garden is my Lemon Zucchini Pineapple Bread.  The fresh lemon zest and the flavor of the crushed pineapple make these little loaves of bread bright with flavor.  Make these and share with your coworkers at the office or for a quick breakfast on your way to work.  Can be frozen to be enjoyed at a later date.  Tessa

Ingredients:

3 c. all purpose flour
1 1/4 c. sugar
4 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
4 eggs
2/3 c. canola oil
1 8 oz. can of crushed pineapple, drained well.
2 c. zucchini grated
1 Tbls. lemon zest

Let’s begin. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grab 2- 4″ X 8″ baking pans and grease well.  In a medium sized bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix well.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, pineapple, zucchini and lemon zest.  Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Mix until moistened.  Do not over mix.  This will look like a thick cake batter, and that is okay, it’s supposed to be that way.  Add the mixture to the two baking pans and bake for 1 hour.  Cool on wire racks then remove loaves from pans.  Makes two fabulous loaves.  Enjoy!