For Immediate Release
August 15, 2012
Fresh Zucchini Recipes for 2012
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 2012 “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 and Chickpea Salad
Serves 9 to 10
19-ounce can of chickpeas, drained
1 small red onion, chopped
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
2 to 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, or to taste
1/4 cup olive oil, extra virgin preferred
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium tomato, diced
10 kalamata olives, halved and pitted
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (peppercorn feta preferred)
Combine all ingredients except feta cheese; let stand at least 30 minutes for flavors to blend. Just before serving, add cheese and stir to blend. Best served at room temperature
First-Place Prize – Summer Squash Zucchini category
Submitted By Frances Dietz, York
Zucchini Chocolate Cake
Serves 10 to 12
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
2 1/2 cups shredded zucchini [about 2 medium zucchini]
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil and sugar one bundt pan. In a large mixing bowl combine all dry ingredients including cocoa and mix well with a whisk. In a separate bowl combine oil, eggs, buttermilk (when measuring buttermilk, be sure to shake the container first as it tends to separate), zest, and coffee and beat well. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, mixing with spatula until completely blended (Do not use an electric mixer). Add zucchini (the amount of zucchini doesn’t have to be exact – I usually pack it gently a little when measuring), mixing thoroughly, then pour into prepared bundt pan and bake about 30 minutes or until top of cake is firm when you press on it or a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow cake to cool in pan at least 30 minutes – this makes the cake come out easily. Enjoy!
Submitted by Nora Porter, Chambersburg
3 cups grated zucchini
1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup grated provolone cheese
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tomatoes, sliced for individual servings
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all the ingredients (except tomatoes) in a large bowl, reserving 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan cheese. Coat a 10-inch pie plate with cooking spray. Spoon the zucchini mixture into the prepared pie plate, and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven, and sprinkle with the reserved Parmesan. Cool 10 minutes before slicing. Serve each piece with tomato slices.
Submitted by Shelly S. Teska, Youngsville
Vegan Zucchini and Cashew Nut Casserole
Serves 8 to 12
2 cups shredded zucchini
2 cups bread crumbs
3 cups oats
2 cups ground raw cashew nuts
2 cup diced tomatoes
2 cups onions, diced fine
1 cup fresh parsley, diced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons sea salt
Mix all ingredients and pour into a sprayed 9×13” pan and bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes.
Submitted by Elen Wennell, Mechanicsburg
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.