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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Zucchini Heaven

We went to Las Vegas a week ago and left our garden with a lot of beautiful zucchini and yellow squash flowers, lots of green tomatoes and a zillion bees pollinating everything.
We arrived home 4 days later and discovered a lot of zucchini and squash almost too large! We also were surprised with a couple of handfuls of cherry tomatoes!
After taking 22 lbs. to the Klamath-Lake County Foodbank, I decided to get creative with zucchini. Now, Kevin and I both adore zucchini and yellow squash- boiled quickly, tossed in a little butter...we have a delicious veggie that I can eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Yes, I had squash for breakfast 3 times last week-by choice.

Don't you LOVE my vintage shopping basket/garden produce basket?
I made up one great recipe (zucchini fries) and found another that was a big hit (zucchini salad). So, here are two great recipes for you when you have a lot of zucchini or squash on your hands!

Zucchini Fries
3 zucchini
1 egg
1/4 cup of milk
1/2 cup of homemade breadcrumbs (you can use breadcrumbs from the store if needed)
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. of salt

Cut the ends off of the zucchini. Cut the zucchini in half, and then, lengthwise, cut each half into 4 pieces.
Crack the egg into a small dish and add the milk and salt. Whisk together and set aside.
I don't buy breadcrumbs- I save up the ends of loaves of bread, or leftover biscuits or hamburger or hotdog buns and freeze them. When I get a gallon bag full in the freezer, I dump them into the food processor and grind the heck out of them! Sometimes I add some fresh basil, oregano and peeled garlic cloves, a little salt and pepper- or not.
So, take 1/2 cup of your homemade breadcrumbs (or store bought) and add the 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan on a plate. Mix them together well and add the salt if your breadcrumbs don't have salt added. 
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a pan with vegetable oil spray and put on the counter. Put the breadcrumbs plate next to the tray, and then place the egg dish next to the breadcrumbs.
Dip the zucchini into the egg mix, toss in the breadcrumbs mix, and place on the tray.
When the oven comes up to 400, place the tray into the oven for about 35-45 minutes until golden brown and delicious, as Alton Brown would say. Serve with fry sauce.  (Fry sauce is 1/4 cup of mayo, 1/4 cup of ketchup, 1/4 cup hot sauce mixed together.)
Now, you can fry these in oil, but they are not as good as baked!! Really!!

Marinated Zucchini Salad
3 zucchini
3 yellow summer squash
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced (optional)
1/2 cup of cider vinegar
4 tsps. of sugar (or Splenda)
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/2 cup of packed basil leaves
2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 tsp. salt
4 ounces of soft fresh tiny mozzarella cheese balls (or 4 ounces of fresh mozzarella cheese cut into cubes)

Cut the tops and bottoms off of the zucchini and squash. Using your peeler, slice the squashes into long thing strips. Mix the vinegar and sugar together. Toss the squash (and onion if you want to) in the vinegar mixture for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
a couple of hours before serving, bring a small pot of water to boil and add the garlic cloves. Remove the garlic after a couple of minutes with a slotted spoon and drain. Immediately add the basil leaves and remove with a slotted spoon in 30 seconds. Plunge into a bowl of ice water and drain.
Put the garlic, 1/2 tsp. of salt, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (fresh is best) and 2 tablespoons of EVOO (see above) and 2 tablespoons of the cooking water into a food processor. Blend together. Pour the Basil oil mix into a small bowl and add the cheese balls or cubes. let them marinate until the squash is ready.
Just before serving, drain the squash well. Toss the squash with the cheese/basil mixture and serve either cold or at room temperature. YUM!
This was a big hit at the potluck I attended on Sunday! Hope you enjoy this recipe! We certainly did!