Monday, August 17, 2009

Zucchini Week - Zucchini Dinners & Sides

Clearly, zucchini is a popular vegetable. I looked in my huge pile of recipes torn out of magazines and newspapers over the last 15 years and, surprise, surprise -- I found 5 zucchini recipes for main dishes and sides that I have been holding onto for who knows how long!

I now realize that zucchini is one of the few vegetables that you can use to make breakfast, lunch, and all courses of dinner. By that I mean, you can make zucchini muffins or bread (breakfast), zucchini with pasta or fried or any of the dinners or sides below and have a good lunch or dinner. Yesterday, I posted the zucchini marinara recipe which is a great appetizer and my friend V has promised to send me a recipe for a zucchini cake (dessert, of course) which she says that I may post on this blog! I'm also planning to post a recipe for zucchini pie which is more of an appetizer as it is a savory pie, I think. I'll have to ask my friend T who provided this recipe to me. That really doesn't even scratch the surface of what you can do with a zucchini. Don't forget about zucchini parmesan and all other the zillions of ways you can cook it.

I've never thought about this before but zucchini is an awesome vegetable!!


¼ cup fine dry bread crumbs
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved (1-1/4 lbs.)
All-purpose flour
2 tbs oil
1/3 tsp hot pepper sauce
4 oz Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 egg, beaten
1 (15-1/2 oz) jar marinara sauce
¾ lb. or 2 cups sliced zucchini
Cooked pasta

1. Mix bread crumbs and ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese.

2. Coat chicken pieces with flour. Dip into egg, and then coat both sides with crumb-cheese mixture.

3. Heat oil in 10” skillet with cover. Add chicken. Brown on both sides over medium heat.

4. Mix marinara sauce, parsley and hot pepper sauce. Spoon half over chicken.

5. Arrange zucchini slices over chicken. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese, top with remaining sauce.

6. Cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 25 minutes or until chicken is tender. Serve with pasta. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4
Active: 12 min.
Total: 30 min.

4 navel oranges
¼ cup olive oil & vinegar dressing
4 chicken breast halves
1/3 cup halved, pitted Kalamata olives
¼ cup thin-sliced red onion
3 tbs sliced mint
4 small zucchini, halved lengthwise
Nonstick spray
¼ tsp each salt and pepper
1 bag (4 to 6 oz) baby arugula

1. Squeeze juice from 1 orange (should yield ½ cup). Pour ¼ cup juice and 2 tbs. dressing into a ziplock bag. Add chicken, seal bag and marinate at room temperature 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat grill. Remove peel and white pith from remaining 3 oranges. Cut in half and slice. Put into a bowl; add olives, onion, mint, and remaining juice and dressing; toss.

3. Coat zucchini with nonstick spray; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade.

4. Grill chicken and zucchini 8 to 10 minutes, turning once, until chicken is cooked through and zucchini is tender.

5. Divide arugula among 4 serving plates. Top with chicken, then orange mixture. Serve with zucchini.

Makes 8 to 10 Servings

1-1/2 lbs sliced zucchini (about 3 large)
4 medium sliced tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 lbs. ground beef, cooked and drained
1/4 cup chopped onion
¾ cup raw rice (not instant)
2 tbs. chopped parsley
¼ cup chopped green pepper
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Line bottom of a 9-inch-by-13 inch pan with half of the zucchini, tomatoes and salt. Mix remaining ingredients together, with the exception of the cheese, and place on top. Put the other half of the zucchini, tomatoes and salt on top. Cover and bake for 1-1/2 hours at 375 degrees. Uncover, sprinkle with cheese and cook until melted.

“Tester Laura Reiley’s comments: ‘This is a great one-dish meal. The rice will absorb a great deal of the moisture as it cooks; but, if during cooking the casserole looks extremely juicy, you may want to uncover slightly. The casserole may be less likely to fall apart when served if you slice the zucchini the long way into 1/4 –inch slices.’”

By Terrye Kocher, Mountain View, Calif.

2 medium zucchini (about 12 oz.)
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 tbs olive oil
2 tsp. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. dried basil, crushed
1/8 tsp pepper
½ cup milk
¼ cup frozen egg product, thawed or 1 beaten egg
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Place, cut side down, in a microwave-safe 2-quart square baking dish. Microwave, covered, on 100% power (high) for 2 or 3 minutes or till nearly tender. (Or, cook in boiling water for 3 or 4 minutes.) Scoop out pulp, leaving a ¼ -inch-thick shell. Set shells aside. Finely chop the zucchini pulp; set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan, cook onion in hot oil until tender but not brown. Add chopped zucchini; cook 1 minute more. Stir in flour, basil, and pepper. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Gradually add zucchini mixture to the egg product or egg. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Spoon mixture into zucchini shells; place in a 2-quart square baking dish. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until filling is lightly browned. Makes 4 side-dish servings.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

4 cups lightly salted water
3 cloves garlic
6 small zucchini, ends trimmed
2 tbs fresh chives
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Bring water to a boil. Add the garlic and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes. Add zucchini and keep simmering, until soft, about 15 minutes longer. Remove garlic and zucchini. When cool enough to handle, peel zucchini.

2. Using a food mill, puree the garlic and zucchini. Spread puree into a lightly oiled gratin dish. Sprinkle with chives and Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper. Broil until the cheese is golden, about two minutes. Serve immediately.


The Creative Cook