Zucchini Madness

By Patricia Zick @P.C. Zick

It starts innocently enough. The beautiful blossom and then a medium-sized zucchini perfect for quartering and putting on the grill with other vegetables appears one day in the garden. A few more are on the vine the next day. Then one day (like yesterday), I go to the garden and zucchini bats have appeared.That’s precisely the reason I self-published my first book thirty years ago, which seems impossible, but true. I was living in Ann Arbor at the time and had a small rooftop garden. I was growing zucchini, tomatoes, and peppers in large containers. Before I knew it, my small efficiency apartment was overcome with the green bats. Everywhere I went that summer, folks were saying they didn’t know what to do with their zucchini. So I wrote recipes, and my ex-husband (Larry Behnke) drew illustrations for the Zucchini Cookbook. I sold out the 200 I printed by the end of the summer (for $1 each!). I still use that cookbook today. With the advent of e-books, it may be time to resurrect and revise and publish.Today, I offer two suggestions for using surplus zucchini. The first is a modified and revised version of a recipe from my thirty-year-old cookbook.

Zucchini Cheddar Herb Bread

1 onion, chopped

1 TBSP olive oil

2 ½ cups unbleached white flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 TBSP parsley

½ dried basil or 1 cup of fresh leaves

½ tsp. dried thyme

½ cup milk

3 eggs

2 cups zucchini, grated

2 cups, sharp cheddar cheese, grated

 

Sauté onion in olive oil until tender. Mix onions, dry ingredients and herbs. Add milk and eggs and mix vigorously until well blended. Fold in zucchini and cheese. Spread in greased and floured round pan and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit oven for approximately 35 minutes. Cool slightly and remove from pan. [Note: I made my batch using small bread pans – this recipe made six small loaves. We ate one and froze the rest.]And finally, I offer a life-saver of a recipe that comes from my husband, Robert.

Zucchini Mess or Soup Starter – Chop up zucchini, onions, garlic, peppers, yellow squash (whatever you have!). When tomatoes come in you can add chopped tomatoes, too). Add herbs of your choice, fresh and/or dried. I tend toward the Italian variety. For this batch I used fresh basil, dried oregano, thyme, tarragon and a good Italian dried herb mix. Salt and pepper to taste. Saute until just tender, but not overcooked. Cool and bag in two-cup portions (or whatever amount you’ll use in one recipe). During the winter months, when I want to start an easy soup in the crock pot, I pull out a bag and I have the “starter” ready to go and just add the other ingredients to make any type of soup you can imagine. I’ve also used it in chicken and seafood recipes. Bon appetit!

9 thoughts on “Zucchini Madness

  1. Isn’t it amazing how they just appear out of nowhere overnight? The zucchini cheddar bread sounds great. I’ve never thought to make a savory zucchini bread. If it ever cools off enough to turn on the oven I’m going to try your recipe.

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    • It’s very good. We had it the other night spread with goat cheese as an appetizer. I’m always surprised by how fast they grow. Maybe I should set up a camera under a plant!

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  2. Where was this post earlier in the week? I just today finished preparing a large box full of gifted zucchini because my sister-in-law is overgrown. I have two pans of parmesan frozen, three pans of stuffed frozen (plus the stuffed that we ate), I already ate a batch of fritters and I’ve frozen a large container for making more, and I froze three large bags sliced for sautes. I’m good through winter, I think, and I hate to think how my sister-in-law feels. She said she’s had it everyday in every possible way for three weeks now, and she still has boxes full of them. I’ll be sending her these two recipes; they’re two we don’t have.

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    • Staci – I just discovered another recipe I’m going to make tonight – Zucchini pizza. Four cups of shredded zucchini mixed with 1/2 cup mozzarella and 1/2 cheddar cheeses makes the crust. I can’t really recommend it yet but I’ll post if it works out tonight! And here’s what’s even worse – my husband planted another batch last week because he said he didn’t want to run out during the summer. He needs to get a grip!

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      • It did work out but I need to make some adjustments on cooking times, etc. It was very tasty. Yesterday I tore up the kitchen and baked 2 loaves of traditional zucchini bread, made another of the cheddar herb loaves and froze 6 cups of shredded. There’s still one left in the crisper but I just couldn’t face it.

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  3. I’ve tried this recipe. As a professional cook, I’d say it’s one of the most delicious and inventive ways to eat zucchini, a savory take on the typically sweet, cinnamony bread. You are a master mixer, cooking up word wisdom and thoughts for food.

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