This time of year is when zucchini start to give you all kinds of trouble. The only way to rid of yourself of them is to leave them on your neighbor’s porch in the dead of night. Zucchini is quite prolific, thus the need for neighbors.
Zucchini (Cucurbita pepo) is a member of the gourd family and in some countries is known as courgette. They can be yellow, green or light green. Although a few zucchini are round, they are generally long with a ridged shaped similar to a cucumber.
Nutritionally, zucchini are low in calories and is a good source of vitamins A, C and fiber. Zucchini has a mild flavor, making it suitable for a variety of dishes. It can be found in dishes from appetizer to dessert. The simplest method to prepare zucchini is to steam them or sauté in a small amount of butter or oil.
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
1⅓ cups sugar
½ cup butter, room temperature
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup milk
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
2½ cups all purpose flour
6 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 cups grated zucchini
1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
2. Mix sugar, butter and oil in a large bowl.
3. Combine milk and lemon juice in a small bowl. Add to sugar mixture. Add eggs and vanilla and blend well. Sift together flour and cocoa. Add baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder and salt to dry ingredients.
4. Stir into sugar mixture. Mix in zucchini. Pour into prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Sprinkle top with powdered sugar before serving.
Need a few more zucchini recipes, try these from Cooking Light - http://bit.ly/bH34uc
A Few Tips for Ridding Yourself of Zucchini…
1. Pick zucchini while they are really small, about 3 to 4 inches. Smaller zucchini are more tender than larger ones. Try them stir-fried, toss them into a soup, cut into sticks, bread and serve as an appetizer with marinara sauce.
2. Hide them. Yes, that’s correct. They are relatively bland and take on the flavor of other ingredients. Put zucchini in chocolate cakes, cookies, meat loaf.
3. Grate and freeze it. You may be grumbling about them now, but in the dead of winter, you’ll appreciate those prolific plants. Try putting zucchini into spaghetti sauce. Your kids may find it, but at least you can enjoy watching them try to pick it out.
4. Make a zucchini donation. Some food pantries and organizations that assist low income populations will be happy to take your excess zucchini.
5. Finally, host a zucchini party. Hand out a few of those excess zucchini to your non gardening friends and ask them to make a dish for the party.