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For Immediate Release
August 15, 2011
William Troxell
[email protected]


Fresh Zucchini Recipes for 2011

August is the prime season for the prolific zucchini. It only takes a few days for a zucchini flower to become a nice tender squash 7 inches long – and only a few more days before it becomes a baseball bat if not harvested! Zucchini, both green and golden varieties, as well as other summer squashes like yellow straightneck, yellow crookneck and pattypan, are now readily available at roadside farm markets, community farmers’ markets and supermarkets.

Markets are also well supplied during August with a whole array of other nutritious vegetables fresh from the farm – sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, cantaloupes, watermelon, beans, cabbage, potatoes, cucumbers, beets, and eggplant besides summer squashes. That is why the Governor and the Vegetable Marketing and Research Program have proclaimed August as Pennsylvania Produce Month.

Zucchini and other types of summer squash are members of the Cucurbitaceae family along with melons and cucumbers. They are distingished from their cousins known as winter squash – butternut, acorn, hubbard, buttercup and Turk’s turban – because they are harvested at a immature stage when the skin is still soft and edible. Squash are native to America and were introduced to European colonists by native Americans.

Zucchini are mostly water and include few calories and only minimal amounts of vitamins. However, according to the Wellness Encylopedia of Food and Nutrition, they do provide small amounts of vitamin C and folacin. In combinations with other vegetables, they help you to include the recommended two to two and half cups of different vegetables in your diet each day. Zucchini sticks or slices can be enjoyed raw with dip or added to tossed salads. Sautéing or stir-frying zucchini alone or with other mild-flavored summer vegetables can be a quick and easy way to add them to your menu. They also are a tasty addition to tomato sauces or pasta dishes.

The following recipes from the 2010 “Simply Delicious, Simply Nutritious” Pennsylvania Vegetable Recipe Contest offer several tasty dishes using the prolific zucchini. Additional zucchini recipes are available at www.paveggies.local.


Zucchini – Japanese Style
Serves 6

2 T.      Sesame Oil
1          Onion – medium-sized, thinly sliced
2          Zucchini – medium-sized, cut into thin strips
2 T.      Teriyaki Sauce
1 T.      Soy Sauce
1 T.      Sesame Seeds – toasted
Black Pepper – ground

Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in onions, and cook 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook while stirring about 1 minute. Stir in teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, and sesame seeds. Cook until zucchini are tender, about 1 1/2  to 2  minutes.  Stir in ground pepper and serve immediately.

Kathy Rohrbaugh, Shrewsbury, First Prize Recipe – Summer Squash/Zucchini Category
2010 Pennsylvania “Simply Delicious, Simply Nutritious” Vegetable Recipe Contest


Zucchini Surprise

12        Corn Chips – coarsely broken
2          Zucchini – small (8″), sliced very thin lengthwise
1 c.      Salsa – mild or medium depending on your taste
2 c.      Mozzarella Cheese
2          Tomatoes – medium, thinly sliced

Break corn chips and layer on bottom of an 8” x 8” baking dish. Lay sliced zucchini over chips, spoon on 1/2 c. salsa, cover with cheese. Make another layer of zucchini, sliced tomatoes, cheese. Make a third layer of zucchini, 1/2 c. salsa, and cheese. Bake at 350ºF for 20 to 30 minutes (until zucchini is tender).  Do not cover.

Rita Torrens, Oley, Finalist Recipe
2010 Pennsylvania “Simply Delicious, Simply Nutritious” Vegetable Recipe Contest


Vegetable Pizza with a Zucchini Crust
A twist on the classic favorite. Pizza with a nutritious crust made from zucchini!
Serves 6

Crust Ingredients:
3 c.            Zucchini – shredded
1 tsp.         Salt
4                Eggs
1/3 c.         Flour
1/3 c.         Parmesan Cheese – grated
1 c.            Ricotta Cheese – part-skim
2 cloves   Garlic – crushed
1 c.            Spinach – fresh
2 T.            Basil – fresh, finely chopped
1/2 c.         Sweet Onion – thinly sliced
1/2 c.         Yellow Squash – thinly sliced
8 oz.          Mushrooms – fresh, sliced
2                Tomatoes – medium sized, finely diced
1 1/2 c.     Mozzarella Cheese – part-skim

Combine salt and zucchini in a large strainer. Allow to sit for 20 minutes to remove excess moisture. Press out any extra liquid. Preheat oven to 450ºF. In a large bowl, combine the shredded zucchini and eggs. Add the flour and parmesan cheese and mix well. Coat a 12 inch round pizza pan with non-stick cooking spray. Spread the crust mixture over the pan. Bake at 450ºF for 10 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown. Remove dough from the oven and reduce oven heat to 350ºF. Combine the ricotta cheese, garlic, spinach and basil. Spread this cheese mixture over the crust. Arrange the sliced onions, yellow squash and mushrooms on top. Sprinkle with diced tomatoes. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake pizza at 350ºF for 20 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden brown.

Deb Lyon, Bangor, Finalist Recipe
2010 Pennsylvania “Simply Delicious, Simply Nutritious” Vegetable Recipe Contest


Baked Zucchini Sticks
Serves 8

3/4 c.         Potato Flakes – instant mashed
3 T.            Parmesan Cheese – grated
1/8 tsp.     Garlic Powder
pinch        White Pepper
2                Egg Whites
2 T.            Water
3                Zucchini – small, cut into 2 inch long, 1 inch wide sticks
Nonstick Cooking Spray
Creamy Caesar Salad Dressing

Preheat oven to 400ºF. In a small bowl combine potato flakes, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and white pepper. In a second bowl combine egg whites and water. Dip the zucchini in the egg mix, then coat with the potato mix. Place in a single layer on a large baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake at 400ºF for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with creamy Caesar dressing as a dipping sauce.

Vicky Sokoloff, Fleetwood, Finalist Recipe
2010 Pennsylvania “Simply Delicious, Simply Nutritious” Vegetable Recipe Contest

Quick Buying Tips for Fresh Pennsylvania Zucchini
—    Zucchini should be relatively small – ideally 6 to 7 inches or shorter – especially for eating raw, sautéing or stir-frying.
—    Pick zucchini that are firm and fairly heavy for their size with a glossy skin.
—    Avoid zucchini with dull, nicked or pitted skin.

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