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Enchiladas, soup, marmalade, muffins, snacks all use zucchini

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When neighbours with zucchini growing in their garden offer some of the abundant squash, it’s great to know that it can go into a variety of dishes.

Here are some recipes to try that feature it as an ingredient.

CHICKEN, CORN AND ZUCCHINI ENCHILADAS

Zucchini is popular in combination with other ingredients fresh from the garden. This Mexican standard can easily be made vegetarian by subsituting cooked black beans for the chicken.

If the jar of green salsa you purchase is slightly smaller than the quantity called for in the recipe, add chicken broth to make up the difference.

15 ml (1 tbsp) vegetable oil

250 g (1/2 lb) boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced

15 ml (1 tbsp) ground cumin

10 ml (2 tsp) ground coriander

1 ml (1/4 tsp) pepper

1 large clove garlic, minced

425 ml (1 3/4 cups) fresh corn kernels (2 to 3 cobs)

250 ml (1 cup) diced zucchini (about 1 medium)

175 ml (3/4 cup) diced sweet red pepper

2 green onions, sliced

500 ml (2 cups) Mexican green salsa (salsa verde), divided

8 flour tortillas (each 18 cm/7 inches in diameter) or 16 tortillas (each 12 cm/5 inches in diameter)

500 ml (2 cups) shredded Tex-Mex cheese

375 ml (1 1/2 cups) diced field tomatoes

125 ml (1/2 cup) chopped fresh coriander

Preheat oven to 190 C (375 F).

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken, cumin, ground coriander and pepper; cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic, corn, zucchini and red pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes or until chicken is lightly browned and vegetables are slightly softened. Stir in green onions and 125 ml (1/2 cup) of the salsa.

Cover tortillas with paper towels and heat in microwave on high for 1 minute.

Place about 125 ml (1/2 cup) filling in the centre of each tortilla. Roll up tortillas and place seam side down in a greased 33-by-23-cm (13-by-9-inch) baking dish. Pour remaining salsa evenly over enchiladas. Top with cheese.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown.

Serve with tomatoes and garnish with chopped coriander.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Foodland Ontario.

ZUCCHINI BASIL SOUP

This is a tasty soup that’s ideal in summer when the main ingredients are plentiful. It can be served hot or chilled and freezes well.

15 ml (1 tbsp) oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

5 medium zucchini, chopped

1 l (4 cups) chicken or vegetable stock

15 ml (1 tbsp) lemon juice

10 ml (2 tsp) granulated sugar

75 ml (1/3 cup) chopped fresh basil

60 ml (4 tbsp) Greek yogurt or sour cream

Basil sprigs and paprika, for garnish

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, for 7 minutes or until softened.

Add garlic and zucchini, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.

Stir in stock, lemon juice and sugar. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes or until zucchini is tender. Stir in chopped basil. Simmer for 1 minute longer.

In a blender or food processor, puree soup in small batches until smooth. Return to saucepan to heat through.

Spoon into serving bowls. Add 15 ml (1 tbsp) of the yogurt to centre of each serving. Garnish with a sprig of basil and a sprinkle of paprika.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: “Thyme in the Kitchen: Cooking With Fresh Herbs” by Yvonne Tremblay.

GINGERED ZUCCHINI MARMALADE

This citrusy marmalade is a refreshing accompaniment to various meats or delicious simply spread on a piece of toast. It keeps for three weeks in the refrigerator and tastes better the day after it’s made.

500 ml (2 cups) finely diced zucchini

1 orange

1 lemon

30 ml (2 tbsp) grated peeled fresh ginger

1 apple, cored and cut into quarters

500 ml (2 cups) sugar

Place zucchini in a stainless-steel saucepan.

Zest orange and lemon and add to zucchini. Peel orange and lemon. Place peel and ginger on a piece of cheesecloth. Gather up the edges and tie with string to make a bouquet garni.

In a blender or food processor, puree apple, orange and lemon together.

Combine fruit puree and sugar with zucchini, and place with bouquet garni in a saucepan.

Bring to a boil, stirring constantly while heating. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes. Discard bouquet garni.

Puree mixture using a hand blender until it resembles a relish or chutney.

Let cool and store in refrigerator.

Source: Dairy Farmers of Canada (www.dairygoodness.ca).

MINI ZUCCHINI CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS

Baked into golden, moist muffins with warm spices, a touch of honey and a hit of chocolate, zucchini never tasted so good.

If desired, replace chocolate chips with chopped toasted pecans, walnuts or almonds and/or substitute 15 ml (1 tbsp) minced fresh ginger for ground, adding it with the juice.

375 ml (1 1/2 cups) whole-wheat flour

250 ml (1 cup) all-purpose flour

10 ml (2 tsp) baking powder

10 ml (2 tsp) ground cinnamon

5 ml (1 tsp) ground ginger

2 ml (1/2 tsp) baking soda

2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt

1 egg

250 ml (1 cup) milk

150 ml (2/3 cup) liquid honey

50 ml (1/4 cup) melted butter

30 ml (2 tbsp) freshly squeezed orange or lemon juice

250 ml (1 cup) shredded zucchini (about 1 small)

125 ml (1/2 cup) miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 190 C (375 F). Butter non-stick miniature muffin pans or line with paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, whisk together egg, milk, honey, butter and orange juice until blended. Pour over dry ingredients and sprinkle with zucchini and chocolate chips; stir just until moistened.

Spoon into prepared muffin pans filling 24 deep cups or 36 shallow cups. Bake, in batches as necessary, for 15 to 18 minutes or until tops are firm to the touch. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Transfer to rack to let cool completely.

Makes about 2 dozen muffins.

Source: Dairy Farmers of Canada (www.dairygoodness.ca).

HAVARTI AND ZUCCHINI STACKS

These savoury snacks or appetizers can be organized ahead of time and the zucchini roasted in the oven at the last minute before assembly.

If desired, substitute medium cheddar or Monterey Jack for the havarti cheese.

2 zucchini, sliced lengthwise, 5 mm (1/4 inch) thick and 10 cm (4 inches) long

3 plum tomatoes, seeded and quartered

15 ml (1 tbsp) melted butter

10 ml (2 tsp) fresh rosemary, chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

175 g (6 oz) havarti cheese, cut into slices (10 cm by 2 1/2 cm/4 inches by 1 inch)

Preheat oven to 220 C (425 F).

On a parchment-lined baking sheet, spread out zucchini slices on one side and tomato quarters on the other. Sprinkle with melted butter and rosemary; season with salt and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes.

Remove skin from tomatoes, then place in a bowl. Crush with a fork.

Alternate zucchini and havarti slices in layers while the zucchini is hot so that the cheese softens.

Serve with crushed tomatoes.

Source: Dairy Farmers of Canada (www.dairygoodness.ca).

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