Thursday, September 8, 2011

Zucchini two ways

If you have zucchini plants I'm sure you have zucchini growing out of your ears.  If you are lucky you might find a neighbor wanting to unload some on you.  Take them up on their offer and use it!  I had a neighbor that recently sent an email around asking if anyone wanted some of their zucchini.  I jumped on that as quick as I could and was rewarded with 2 big green zucchini and 1 big yellow zucchini (or summer squash).  I fried up half of one of the green zucchini's for lunch with a friend, grated the rest for zucchini bread and cut up the yellow one to grill with.  I'm going to be sharing the bread and grilled recipes with you today.

First up: Marinated Zucchini and Summer Squash
My sister-in-law made these this summer while I was in town.  Delicious, easy and I'll admit I'm not a HUGE fan of cooked zucchini (read boiled-blech!) but this grilled stuff was soooo good and GOOD for you!

Summer Squash
Italian dressing (can be light)
Season salt
A hard cheese like Romano or Parmigana

First slice your zucchini's into rounds and add to a bowl.

Do the same with a yellow zucchini or summer squash if you
are using.  I did a smaller green zucchini I had already
purchased from the store, a two yellow summer
squash/yellow zucchini's.

Add some Italian dressing and let the zucchini sit for about
1/2 hour.  You don't want it to over marinade or it will
overpower the zucchini.

Grill on both sides.  I brushed the first side with some more
dressing and sprinkled some season salt before flipping
over.  After flipping over I brushed with additional dressing
and some more season salt.

Be careful of over seasoning.  The first time we made these
they were way over seasoned for me so I scaled back the
next  time and they were perfect.  You can always add more
seasoning later if it's underseasoned, but it's hard to take
the saltiness away.

After they are done, grate a little romano or parmigiana
cheese.  It adds the right finishing touch.

Second Up: Chocolate Zucchini Bread

One of my neighbors last summer had a bountiful supply of
zucchini's (thanks Briana!) and was so nice to share with me. 
I made at least 4 batches of this bread and tweaked this
recipe several times until now it is JUST perfect!  I can only
make this once a year as I can't stop myself from eating it,
but it helps that Jordan and the kids love it too so we're all
sharing in the goodness!


3 eggs
2 cups white sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 pkg mini semi-sweet chocolate chips or 2 cups
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup pecans, toasted then chopped (optional)
2 cups grated zucchini

Preheat your oven to 350.  Grease TWO-2 loaf pans.

Sift together flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder and soda.

In a large bowl, beat eggs until lemon colored; beat in sugar,
oil, and applesauce.

I actually made a batch of zucchini bread before this one
and grated all the zucchini at once in my food processor. 
This kept in my fridge covered for at least 5 days.  I usually
cut my zucchini in half lengthwise before shredding and if
the seeds are really big, I'll cut those out too, as sometimes
I've gotten a big seed in my bread and it isn't good.

Add the vanilla and zucchini to the sugar mixture.

Mix dry ingredients into zucchini mixture.  Stir in chopped
pecans and mini chocolate chips.

Pour into prepared pans.  I use the grease and flour spray
so the loaves come out super easy.  You can pick it up at
the store or at Williams and Sonoma (that's where mine
came from).  I also picked up the pan on the left there and
it was a splurge, but all my loaves come out perfectly
browned from that pan.  Bake for 1 hour.  I would
check it at 55 min. as some ovens need a little less and
some need a little more.

Doesn't this look so yum-o?  I asked my son who is 5 if he
wanted zucchini bread and he said "Eww...No", and wrinkled
his nose.  I told him I had another loaf of chocolate chip
bread and did he want to try that?  He said he did, but that he
thought I was just trying to trick him (of course I was).  I told
him I wasn't and gave him a slice and he thought it was so
good, but said that he still thought I was tricking him.  I didn't
respond to that comment and gave him some more.  
Yesterday when the new loaves were cool he wanted a piece
and came back for 3 more slices so I guess we'll be referring
to it in our household for awhile as chocolate chip bread.

btw-my 2 year old daughter told me she loves "zoocheenee"
bread.  She's definitely not as picky as my son.

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