Zucchini Recpies

Zucchini is basically a weed we can eat.  No matter how the summer goes - too wet, too dry, too cold, too hot - zucchini flourishes.  Which is great and a huge pain in the butt.  My family likes zucchini in many different forms from breads to cookies to casseroles, but they do complain when it hits the dinner table 5 nights in a row.  So, here are three dinners that are equally unique and delicious.

Summer Veggie Casserole
Serves 6
Takes 1 1/2 hrs (30 min active)

2 each green and red bell pepper, chopped
2 onions, diced
3 each small zucchini and yellow squash, cubed
5 eggs
1 c skim evaporated milk
2 T flour
1 t each garlic powder and salt
1/4 t pepper
8 oz cheddar cheese, cubed
2 c bread crumbs
1 c Parmesan cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 F.  In a large skillet over medium heat, saute onions and peppers in olive oil for 5 minutes.  Add zucchini and yellow squash and cook for 5 minutes.   In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and flour.  Spread veggies in a large rectangle glass baking dish.  Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Distribute cheddar cheese evenly over veggies.  Pour egg mixture over.  Sprinkle with bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.  Cover with foil and bake 45 min; uncover and bake 15 min or until light golden.


Sausage and Summer Squash Dinner
Serves 6
Take 1 1/2 hrs (40 active)

1 c uncooked rice
2 c water
1 lb mild Italian sausage
1/4 c chopped onion
1 c tomatoes, diced
4 c zucchini, cubed (or yellow squash)
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
Pinch Oregano
salt/pepper to taste
8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded

Bring water to boil, add rice, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for 20 min or until all the water is absorbed.  Preheat oven 325 F.  In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown sausage and onions.  Add tomato and squash and cook for 5 minutes or until zucchini is just tender.  Stir in mushrooms and rice.  Season.  Scoop mixture into a glass rectangle baking dish and sprinkle with cheese.  Bake uncovered for 50 min or until golden.


Zucchini Casserole
Serves 6
Takes 1 hr (30 min active)

Olive oil/butter
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, sliced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 c low fat sour cream
6 c cubed zucchini
1 6-oz package herb stuffing mix
1/2 c butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 F.  In a large skillet over medium heat, cook carrot and onion in olive oil for 5 minutes.  Add another tablespoon of oil.  Add the flour and cook until all the flour is moist.  Add the  milk while stirring then stir in the sour cream.  Keep cooking, while stirring, until the sauce thickens.  Remove from heat.  Fold in zucchini.  In a second bowl, mix stuffing and butter - stuffing should be dry-ish.  In a 2-quart baking dish, put half the stuffing on the bottom, add veggies and top with remaining stuffing.  Bake 25 minutes, uncovered, or until the top is golden.


When the zucchini get to that size, you know the size, where you need both arms to carry it; it's time to make zucchini relish.  You'll want to remove the seeds and surrounding, fluffy stuff - only use the thicker, denser portions so that the relish isn't mushy.

Zucchini Dill Relish
Makes 8-9 half-pints

8 lbs zucchini
2 large yellow onions
1/2 c salt
1 tsp turmeric
1/3 c sugar
1 1/2 T dill weed
3 c white vinegar

Finely chop the zucchini and onion. Place in a large bowl and mix in salt and turmeric. Poor in enough cold water to just cover the veggies. Let sit for 2 hours. Pour into a colander and rinse with cold water. Press to remove extra liquid.

Combine zucchini with sugar, dill and vinegar in a large sauce pot. Bring to boil, then simmer 10 minutes. Pack into hot half-pint jars reserving 1/2 inch head space. Remove air bubbles by running a spatula around the inside of the jar. Put hot lids on. Place in a large stock pot of water; water should be at least 1 inch above jars. Bring boil and boil, covered for 15 minutes. Remove to towel and cool to room temperature. Any jars that don't seal should be eaten with 2 weeks. Sealed jars can be stored in the pantry for 1 year.