Showing posts with label zucchini. Show all posts
Showing posts with label zucchini. Show all posts

Monday, August 22, 2011

Zucchini Marinara ala Proietti's Restaurant

We just got back from our annual pilgrimage to Rochester, New York to visit my husband's family.  The first thing we did when we got to Rochester was to have dinner at Proietti's Restaurant in Webster.  The best thing about eating there is having the Zucchini Marinara which is a free appetizer they serve year-round.  Proietti's is an awesome restaurant.  Check out the Proietti's Restaurant website if you are planning to visit the Rochester area in the near future.  My husband ordered the Ravioli, I ordered the Chicken Scampi and my son ordered the Gnocchi.  Everything we ordered was swoon-worthy.  Just don't over order.  You will barely be able to finish your meals.  They serve large portions!  We took half our meals back to the room where we were fortunate enough to have a small refrigerator.  Luckily, I found the recipe for the Zucchini Marinara online.  I suppose they don't mind sharing this recipe since it is a free appetizer.  In any case, this zucchini is delicious.

Zucchini Marinara

May be eaten hot or warm, as an appetizer, or over your favorite pasta.
Servings: 4 to 6 Servings
Approximately 2  Zucchini
4 oz.  100% Olive Oil
1 oz. Sweet Basil
½  teaspoon Black Pepper
1 tablespoon Chicken Base
1 tablespoon Sugar
1-28 oz. Can Whole Peeled Tomatoes (drained & smashed)
1 clove Fresh Garlic chopped
Cut ends off zucchini and discard. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Slice zucchini in pieces approximately 1/4” wide. In a medium size frying pan, combine all of the ingredients except the tomatoes.  Saute’ on medium high heat until the zucchini starts to soften, approximately 5 to 6 minutes, mixing often.   Add the tomatoes and cook an additional 20 minutes mixing often, being careful not to over-cook.  If desired you may skim off any excess oil.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lemon Ricotta Linguine with Garlic and Zucchini

This is another recipe that I have been looking at for a long time but have only just made it today.  I adjusted the amounts to make a larger portion.   It is originally from Food 52 website and I combined that recipe with one I found in Cooking Light Magazine's August issue.

Lemon Ricotta  Pasta with Garlic and Zucchini
Serves 6-8


1 16 oz box of linguine
1 cup fresh ricotta, preferably homemade (see recipe below)
6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3 small yellow squash, chopped
2 small zucchini, chopped
zest of 2 lemons
1-1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes, to taste
1/2 cup fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
black pepper


1.  Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente and drain.

2.  Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and garlic.  Gently cook the garlic until it is starting to turn golden.  Add squash, zucchini, and red pepper flakes to pan; saute 1 minute.  Add broth and pasta to pan, cook for 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, tossing to combine.

3.  Add the ricotta, lemon zest, and remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.   If pasta needs more moisture, add additional chicken broth.  Add black pepper to taste.  Dig in.

Homemade Ricotta

2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons cider vinegar

1.  Combine ingredients in a microwave safe 1-quart liquid measuring cup; microwave on HIGH for 4 minutes.

2.  Stir to form small curds.

3.  Strain through a sieve lined with a double layer of cheesecloth; let stand for 5 minutes.

4.  Discard liquid.

5.  Scrape cheese mixture into a small bowl; stir in rind and 1/4 teaspoon salt.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Spaghetti With Roasted Zucchini

I saw this recipe in a People Magazine while we were driving through Montana.  It looks amazing that I made it for dinner tonight!

Spaghetti with Roasted Zucchini
By Piper Perabo in People Magazine July 11, 2011

2 medium zucchini, sliced into ½-inch rounds
½ cup chopped yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1-1/2 teaspoons butter
¼ cup fresh bread crumbs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
6 ounces spaghetti
¼ cup pitted Kalmata olives
¼ cup Parmesan cheese

1.        Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Place zucchini on a sheet pan.  Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.  Roast for 10-15 minutes, stirring once.  Remove from oven and set aside.
2.       In a 12 inch sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Sauté onions over medium-low heat for 5 minutes or until translucent.  Add garlic and sauté 1 minute.  Stir in zucchini and lemon zest.  Remove pan from heat.
3.       Melt butter in small skillet over low heat.  Add bread crumbs and sauté until lightly browned.  Let cool, stir in mint and set aside.
4.       Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add pasta and cook for 9 minutes. Drain, reserving ¼ cup of pasta cooking water.  Add pasta to zucchini mixture.  Add olives and reserved water.  Bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat to low and sprinkle in cheese.  Toss pasta until cheese melts.  Divide between two bowls.  Top with bread crumbs.


Friday, August 6, 2010

Zucchini Sausage Squares

I am not sure where I found this recipe but it was a lifesaver.  I had a pound of bulk sausage in my freezer and a zucchini in my refrigerator.  I just didn't know what to do with them until I found this recipe.  Believe me, the ingredients were a total surprise to me.  I would never have thought to put zucchini together with sausage and mozzarella cheese.  The most unusual aspect of this recipe to me is the prepared mustard on top of the crescent rolls.  Initially, when I read the recipe I thought they were referring to the powdered mustard but when I went back and reread it and it said "prepared" mustard I was completely taken aback. I think the recipe calls for way too much butter.  There is really no need to  use half a cup of butter!  Just reduce it to a few tablespoons or better yet use a tablespoon or two of olive oil.  I had to cook this casserole for at least 35 minutes.  It was just not browned by 20 minutes of cooking.  Personally, I don't like black pepper so I substituted white pepper.  To be honest, I didn't think the prepared mustard was necessary but my husband said he enjoyed the mustard taste.  I was really surprised to hear him say that since he never uses mustard.  You will have to try the recipe and decide for yourself. I used yellow mustard but I suppose spicy brown mustard would work just as well with the flavors.  Maybe even better. 

Zucchini Sausage Squares

5 small zucchini - cut into 1/4 slices
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup butter
1 pound bulk Italian sausage, cooked and drained
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 eggs
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella
1 tube (8 ounces) refrigerated crescent rolls
2 Tablespoons prepared mustard

In a large skillet, sauté the zucchini and onions with the butter. Stir in the sausage, parsley and seasonings. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, cheese and sausage mixture.

Unroll crescent rolls in a greased 13 x 9 baking dish. Press onto the bottom and sides to form a crust, seal seams and perforations. Brush with mustard. Spoon sausage mixture on top. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Enjoy!

Serves 6-8.


The Creative Cook

Saturday, August 22, 2009

ZUCCHINI WEEK - Zucchini Cake

Zucchini Cake -- This sounds odd but think about how yummy carrot cake can be. So maybe vegetables in cake isn't really that odd. Is it still healthy if you use the zucchini in cakes or muffins? I don't know but I think it should be.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

1/2 c. (1 stick) butter or margarine
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1-3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c "sour" milk (1/2 T. white vinegar added to 1/2 c. milk), or yogurt, or buttermilk
2-1/2 flour
1/2 cocoa
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 salt
1/2 cinnamon
1/2 cloves
2 c. shredded zucchini

Cream together the butter, oil, and sugar. Beat in the eggs, vanilla, and milk. In a separate bowl combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until thoroughly combined. Stir in the zucchini. Spoon the batter into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 40-45 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.


The Creative Cook

Friday, August 21, 2009


No, I haven't given up on Zucchini week. I just got a little busy. Sorry! I received this recipe from my sister. It definitely puts an interesting spin on caponata. All the caponata that I have eaten has been made with eggplant but since zucchini is so prevalent at this time of year, why not try zucchini caponata instead??!

Now wait a minute, don't you go thinking that my sister is someone who actually eats something like caponata. No, absolutely not. She is definitely not a vegetable eater. She was nice enough to send me this recipe that she found while searching through the King Arthur Recipes on their website. She also found the Zucchini Cake recipe which I'll post tomorrow. Thanks to both my sister and my friend V for providing this recipe. I'm definitely going to try them both!



2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped zucchini
1 cup chopped onion
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped or minced
1 1/2 cups chopped tomato
2 to 3 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes
1 to 2 tablespoons drained capers
1/4 cup pitted halved black olives, preferably oil-cured
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, parsley, or oregano (optional)


1. Heat the oil, and fry the zucchini, onion, garlic, and tomatoes for 30 minutes, covered.
2. Remove the cover, and cook an additional 10 to 15 minutes to evaporate any extra liquid.
3. Add the sugar, salt, and pepper; stir and remove from heat. When lukewarm, stir in the cherry tomatoes, capers, and olives. Store covered and refrigerated until ready to use.


The Creative Cook

Thursday, August 20, 2009


sideThis zucchini pie recipe comes from my friend T. She tells me that it should be used as a side dish. I'm thinking that it could be a good appetizer too. It is a "savory" pie meaning that it isn't sweet. I have never eaten zucchini pie but it sounds good. I'm thinking that my mom or my grandmother made a pie similar to this one. Anyway, it wouldn't surprise me if they did. I'm still hoping that my friend V will send me the zucchini cake recipe. It is a chocolate cake recipe that she got from the King Arthur Flour bag several years ago.

Zucchini Pie

2 cans (8 ounces each) crescent rolls
Press crescent rolls into and up sides of 9 x 13 inch pan or 2 pie pans. Pinch all seams to seal. Set aside.

¼ to ½ cup butter or margarine
*6-8 cups thinly sliced zucchini/yellow squash
½ cup minced fresh or ground parsley
¾ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon basil
½ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon garlic powder or 2 garlic cloves

4 eggs (beaten)
4 cups mozzarella cheese
¾ teaspoon salt

*Add sliced onions to taste up to 2 cups and sauté with zucchini/squash.

Melt butter in large skillet. Sauté’ zucchini and spices until zucchini are tender.

In separate bowl, combine eggs, cheese and salt. Gently toss zucchini with egg mixture. Pour into crust.

Preheat over to 375 degrees.
Bake 35-40 minutes or until center is set.


The Creative Cook

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Zucchini Week - Muffins & Bread

Today, I have a recipe for zucchini muffins provided by my friend T and a yam-zucchini bread that sounds very interesting to me. Since, as the newspaper article blurb I found with the bread recipe says, zucchini seem to multiply exponentially these recipes could provide a way to enjoy the overwhelming proliferation of these summer squash. Bread and muffins are definitely a very palatable way to serve zucchini to kids or adults who are not big fans of squash. These recipes sure do sound delish!

Makes 2 - 3 dozen muffins

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 cups shredded zucchini
½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

Combine oil and eggs, add to dry ingredients and mix well.

Add zucchini, stir until thoroughly combined.

Fold in nuts if desired.

Pour into greased muffin pans or cup cake liners.

Bake 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.



1-1/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup oil

3 eggs

1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained

1-1/2 cups grated, unpeeled zucchini

1-1/2 cups grated, peeled sweet potato (about 1 large)

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 cup chopped walnuts

3/4 cup golden raisins

1. In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly beat sugar, oil and eggs. Blend in pineapple, zucchini and sweet potato. Add the next 4 dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated. Stir in walnuts and raisins.

2. Spoon batter into a greased and floured 9 x 5 inch loaf pan, spreading evenly. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 1 hour and 20 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on rack.


The Creative Cook

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

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Zucchini Week - Zucchini Marinara

The end of the summer is always the time for a bumper crop of zucchini in my family. My dad, up until a few years ago, grew a garden. He always planted zucchini, Sicilian Squash, peppers, eggplant, basil and more. My brother-in-law also plants a garden. He still does his garden with my parents and my sister's help to water while he is away on business. Occasionally, he will get D to come over to water with him or my parents. I reap the benefits of all this hard work on gardening by enjoying my mother's eggplant and/or zucchini Parmesan. This summer I also got some peppers, basil, eggplant and lots of zucchini from my brother-in-law's garden. I really wanted to come up with good recipes to enjoy the zucchini. I found a zucchini marinara recipe that both D and I enjoyed. We got the idea while we were up in Rochester, NY this summer. D and I ate dinner at a restaurant called Proetti's. It is a classic Italian restaurant that was close to our hotel. B and his dad decided they "needed" to go to the racetrack which meant D and I were on our own for dinner on a Friday night. Thankfully, I had my GPS and some recommendations which is how we wound up at Proetti's. They serve a complimentary appetizer called Zucchini Marinara. It was so awesomely delicious that I knew I would have to try making some when I got home. D and I gobbled it up. I am not generally such a vegetable lover that I would gobble up any vegetable dish, so just sayin....

I'm betting that the Proetti family (being Italian and all) also has a "bumper crop" of zucchini from their family gardens which is why they came up with this complimentary appetizer. I can't prove this but I think it is a good guess!

1 hour
25 minute prep

Serves 6

2-3 zucchini, unpeeled and sliced
1/4 olive oil, divided
1 (15 oz) jar marinara sauce (or the equivalent of homemade)
1/2 cup red wine
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon basil leaves, crushed
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1 cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese (4 ounces)

1. Saute zucchini in 3 tbs olive oil until lightly browned; drain.
2. Place in 1-1/2 quart casserole.
3. Combine marinara sauce, wine, remaining garlic, basil and oregano in small saucepan; stir well.
4. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Spoon sauce over zucchini; mix well.
6. Sprinkle cheese over sauce; cover.
7. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.
8. Bake, uncovered, for 5 minutes longer.


The Creative Cook