Week Seven: Don’t let Zucchini and Summer Squash perish on your watch!

I hope you’re enjoying the heat and the abundance of wonderful CSA veggies from Groundswell…I sure am! This week focuses on a few wonderful uses for zucchini and summer squash. These delicate vegetables need to be used sooner than later after pick-up, and here are a few great ways! You’ll notice that, with the exception of the zucchini bread, these recipes also make great use of fresh herbs and scallions!

Zucchini-and-Pecorino Frittata
Recipe Credit: Orangette

3 Tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1-1 ½ lb zucchini, thinly sliced into half-circles
2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
6 large eggs (preferably free-range, please)
S & P
½ cup good-quality Pecorino Romano, grated

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 2 Tbs olive oil over medium heat. Sauté onions until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes. Add basil and remove from heat. Drain in colander.

Crack eggs into a medium bowl and whisk with a fork. Add salt and pepper and cheese, stirring to mix. Add zucchini and onion and stir to mix evenly.

Heat remaining Tbsp oil over medium heat. Add egg mixture, using fork to distribute evenly over pan. Reduce heat to low and cook until set, 12 to 15 minutes or so. Remove from heat and slide frittata onto a large plate. Place skillet over plate, and invert frittata back into skillet. Cook a few minutes more. Invert frittata onto plate to serve. Eat at room temperature or cold. Serves 6-8 as a first course or 4 as a main dish.

::

Zucchini Bread
Recipe Credit: Smitten Kitchen

Yield: 2 loaves or approximately 24 muffins

3 large eggs
1 cup (235 ml) olive or vegetable oil
1 3/4 (350 grams) cups sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract
3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon (6 grams) table salt
1/2 cup (55 grams) chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1 cup (115 grams) dried cranberries, raisins or chocolate chips or a combination thereof (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Grease and flour two 8×4 inch loaf pans, liberally. (See those pictures of the cakes inside their non-stick pans? Yup, they’re pretty much hanging out in there for the time being.) Alternately, line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk. Mix in oil and sugar, then zucchini and vanilla.

Combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt, as well as nuts, chocolate chips and/or dried fruit, if using.

Stir this into the egg mixture. Divide the batter into prepared pans.

Bake loaves for 60 minutes, plus or minus ten, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Muffins will bake far more quickly, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.

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Zucchini Fritters
Recipe Credit: Smitten Kitchen

Yield: About 10 2 1/2 inch fritters

1 pound (about 2 medium) zucchini
1 teaspoon coarse or Kosher salt, plus extra to taste
2 scallions, split lengthwise and sliced thin
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Olive or another oil of your choice, for frying

To serve (optional)
1 cup sour cream or plain, full-fat yogurt
1 to 2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
Pinches of salt
1 small minced or crushed clove of garlic

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Have a baking sheet ready.

Trim ends off zucchini and grate them either on the large holes of a box grater or, if you have one, using the shredding blade of a food processor. The

In a large bowl, toss zucchini with 1 teaspoon coarse salt and set aside for 10 minutes. Wring out the zucchini in one of the following ways: pressing it against the holes of a colander with a wooden spoon to extract the water, squeezing out small handfuls at a time, or wrapping it up in a clean dishtowel or piece of cheese cloth and wringing away. You’ll be shocked (I was!) by the amount of liquid you’ll lose, but this is a good thing as it will save the fritters from sogginess.

Return deflated mass of zucchini shreds to bowl. Taste and if you think it could benefit from more salt (most rinses down the drain), add a little bit more; we found 1/4 teaspoon more just right. Stir in scallions, egg and some freshly ground black pepper. In a tiny dish, stir together flour and baking powder, then stir the mixture into the zucchini batter.

In a large heavy skillet — cast iron is dreamy here — heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Drop small bunches of the zucchini mixture onto the skillet only a few at a time so they don’t become crowded and lightly nudge them flatter with the back of your spatula. Cook the fritters over moderately high heat until the edges underneath are golden, about 3 to 4 minutes. If you find this happening too quickly, reduce the heat to medium. Flip the fritters and fry them on the other side until browned underneath again, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Drain briefly on paper towels then transfer to baking sheet and then into the warm oven until needed. Repeat process, keeping the pan well-oiled, with remaining batter. I like to make sure that the fritters have at least 10 minutes in the oven to finish setting and getting extra crisp.

For the topping, if using, stir together the sour cream, lemon juice, zest, salt and garlic and adjust the flavors to your taste. Dollop on each fritter before serving. These fritters are also delicious with a poached or fried egg on top, trust me.

Do ahead: These fritters keep well, either chilled in the fridge for the better part of a week and or frozen in a well-sealed package for months. When you’re ready to use them, simply spread them out on a tray in a 325 degree oven until they’re hot and crisp again.

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Zucchini Toasts
Recipe Credit: Sprouted Kitchen

1 Fresh Whole Grain Loaf
4 Zucchini (About 2 1/2 Cups when diced)
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2-3 tsp. Lemon Pepper
1 tsp. Fennel Seed (optional)
Sea Salt (If your Lemon Pepper Blend DOESN’T have salt already)

1 Cup Ricotta Cheese
2 Tbsp. Minced Shallot
1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard

Fresh Parsley + Mint (about 1/3 cup of each)

Oven to 475′

1. Cut both end off the zucchini. Cut each in half length wise, then each long half into 4 sticks, dice. Repeat with remaining zucchini.
2. Spread zucchini on a large baking sheet, drizzle the olive oil and lemon pepper, optional fennel seed, and salt IF needed. The zucchini should have a very light coating of oil, add a bit more if need be. Use your preferences on the amount of spices too. Spread to make one even layer on the baking tray for more browning. Bake on the upper third rack for 18-20 minutes, or until they’ve got some good crispy edges. Remove to cool.
3. While zucchini is roasting, mix the ricotta, mustard and shallot together in a small bowl, set aside.
4. Chop even amounts parsley and mint, about 1/3 cup in total.
5. Toast your bread slices, I thought 1/2” thick was perfect. Spread a few dollops of the ricotta mix, a sprinkle of the herb mix, pile zucchini on top, and another sprinkle of herbs.

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Summer Squash and Herb Pie
Recipe Credit: My friend Linnea who works on a CSA farm in Wisconsin

Butter-only pie crust:
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup butter, very cold, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
6-8 tablespoon ice water

Combine flour, salt & sugar. Combine butter with pastry cutter or food processor.  Slowly add very cold water until you get a thick dough consistency.  Roll out and fit into pie pan. Chill in pie pan while you prepare your filling ingredients.

Filling:
¼ cup butter or vegetable oil
4-5 scallions, chopped
4 cups thinly sliced summer squash of any kind
¼ cup chopped parsley
5-6 basil leaves, julienned
2 tablespoons herb of your choice (dill or oregano make fine choices)
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

2 eggs, beaten
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
2 teaspoons mustard

Heat the butter or oil in the pan and add all the remaining vegetables, herbs and spices. Sauté the mixture together on medium heat for about 10 minutes.

Add the eggs and mozzarella to the summer squash mixture. Spread the mustard onto the prepared pie crust, and pour in the remaining summer squash and egg mixture on top. Bake at 375° F for 18-20 minutes, until top is beginning to turn golden brown. Rest the pie a few minutes out of the oven before digging in.

Wishing you happiness and tasty kitchen success using your zucchini and summer squash!

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This entry was posted in basil, dill, green onion, mint, Oregano, parsley, summer squash / zucchini. Bookmark the permalink.

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