Zucchini: Prolific. Ubiquitous. Everywhere. Garden Hog. Farmer’s Markets. Zucchini is such a harbinger of early to mid summer. I say early because I don’t really want to acknowledge that we might be approaching mid summer yet. I love summer and wish it would last longer. Now back to the topic of zucchini-I remember when I had a garden, it would produce such an unbelievable yield. I often had to give them away. But I like baking with zucchini as well and am always looking to make snacks for my children that are home-made and better quality then just buying a box of Chips Ahoy. I often keep shredded zucchini in the fridge in a container so that it is ready to go for these delicious recipes, all of which call for shredded zucchini. I may not state it in every recipe, but I always use organic butter and eggs and usually organic flour as well. It is worth searching out organic lemons. Not always easy to find, but since you are using the zest( which is the outer rind) for one of these recipes, I wouldn’t ever use conventional lemons. It would be just like inviting some pesticides into your body. Zucchini is similar to tofu, in that has essentially no flavor, but can be gussied up or easily folded into a recipe to give it a little heft and a little bit more nutrition.And since Juicy Green Girl is always about making things a little healthier, the following are some of my favorite recipes for zucchini:
Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine in a small bowl: 1 cup of unbleached flour, 1/2 cup of white whole wheat flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt.
In a stand mixer or larger bowl ,beat 12 Tablespoons (1 and 1/2 sticks) of unsalted butter with 3/4 cup of sugar until light and fluffy. Add 1 egg, 1 cup of shredded zucchini, zest of two organic lemons and 1/2 teaspoon of pure lemon extract. Combine well.
Drop by rounded teaspoons onto two parchment lined baking sheets. Bake for approx 14-16 minutes. At the 7 minute mark, rotate and switch the baking sheets. Cookies are done when the edges are a nice golden brown. Makes about two dozen cookies.
ZUCCHINI FETA FRITTERS (Adapted from One Pot Vegetarian Dishes)–this recipe is “da bomb”….crazy delicious!
Ingredients: 1 pound zucchini, shredded, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 cup chopped parsley, 1/4 cup feta cheese, 2 eggs (beaten), 1 small onion finely chopped, 2 T. unbleached flour, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 3 T. olive oil for sauteing.
Yogurt Sauce-Combine 1 carton of plain greek yogurt with 1 teaspoon of chopped mint and 1 teaspoon of chopped chives. Set aside.
Toss zucchini with salt. Put in a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl and let it sit for 30 min. Put zucchini in a turkish kitchen towel and squeeze out extra moisture.
Place zucchini in a medium bowl. Add parsley, feta, beaten eggs, onion, flour and cayenne. Mix well.
Put oil in skillet. Heat until a drop of water sizzles. Your skillet should be quite hot for these to cook perfectly. Use a tablespoon to plop batter onto hot skillet. Press down with a fork till fritters are about 1/2 inch thick. Cook 2-3 min each side. Serve with minted yogurt on the side. Recipe makes eight 2″ fritters.
A Little Better for you Zucchini Bread, Updated
1) My main tester (ahem…my husband) thought that the one and one half cups of sugar in this recipe made it just a little too sweet. I lessened it slightly to 1 and 1/3 cups. It is a matter of taste. You can try experimenting with less sugar.
2) This recipe calls for two loaf pans. It also bakes nicely in a bundt pan. Just be sure to grease and flour all of the grooves very well. Cooking time is unchanged.