Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘zucchini cobbler’

Last time, I offered a post detailing a few of the uses for zucchini that I utilize in handling my small farm’s huge overabundance of them. Those ideas were good, but a lot of people might already have their own bread recipes… Today I bring you a quick post describing a few more ways to use the little green fruits, one of which is a real shocker (especially with how good it is)! After all, I just picked 15 more zucchini the other day…

All of these ideas can also be used with other summer squashes.

Feeeeaaarrr the enormous head-eating zucchini plants!

– Zucchini and Tomatoes –

This is also a ‘lazy day’ recipe for me. You start with a tomato base. You can use them stewed, diced, as paste, or any other way really – that part is based on your preference. Since I also grow and can lots of my own tomatoes, this is never an issue, but you can definitely just use store bought too. I usually prefer a base with less chunks, so I’d use diced or paste, or if I wanted to use whole/halved or stewed, I’d let it cook a little before adding the other ingredients.

What I do is warm up the tomato ingredient in a medium to large pot. Once I have it good and hot, I’ll add chunked, sliced, or cubed zucchini pieces. It’s best to use mostly small to medium zucchini for this. You want to add enough zucchini that the tomato ingredient will flavor them all, but not drown them. That is, you want your zucchini well ‘sauced’ but you don’t really want a soup here. The shape and size of the zucchini pieces you add is again based on your preference. I prefer good sized chunks, as I like firmness and they don’t get as easily cooked down and ‘floppy’ as the slices, but that’s all up to you as you might prefer them that way! Optional ingredients to also add at this stage are things like onion pieces, mushroom chunks or slices, or other vegetables (I usually just add the mushrooms and several dashes of my favorite spices and herbs).

Let simmer for a while until zucchini is tender. Feel free to sample as you go. 😉

Once zucchini is done, remove from heat, dish into bowls, and cover with a generous helping of mozzarella (or other cheese if you don’t have mozzarella/cheese substitute if vegan). Enjoy!

In this same vein, do not be afraid to experiment with zucchini. Its mild flavor and easily manipulated texture lends it well to all kinds of variations on casseroles and savory pies.

They’re still spawning!

– Zucchini Soup Base –

This is one of my new favorite ways to use zucchini, as you can barely tell it’s there unless you really hunt… and that’s saying something, since in my last pot I added 5 whole fruits! It’s also pretty easy, in my opinion.

Start by making stock/broth. Take your pot and add a good amount of water (very scientific and accurate, I know). What size of pot you use depends on how much you want to make. I make a giant pot and we eat off of it for several days, but you can simply scale down and make a small pot – it just won’t use as many zucchini at once.

To make your starter broth, you can boil some meat and remove it to re-add later, using the cooking liquid. You can boil up some herbs and vegetables, spice/salt as desired, and make a nice veggie broth. You can do something as simple as adding enough bouillon cubes to the water to flavor it. Doesn’t matter – just make a little broth however you see fit.

Cut tops and tails off of zucchini and chunk or slice. If using really giant zucchini, they should be skinned and seeded first. Add to the broth and simmer until zucchini is soft. You can also add some skinned tomatoes at this stage if you like, since tomatoes go with zucchini so well, but it’s optional. I added 8 to my last batch.

Once zucchini and optional tomatoes are falling apart somewhat, blend up the mixture well with an immersion blender stuck right into the pot (don’t stick the motor piece under the water, and make sure to go a little easy on it so it doesn’t get too hot). You can also use a regular blender, pour the batch through a food mill, etc. but those are all messier and take more work (I love my immersion blender). Once blended, the zucchini will practically disappear and become what is basically a thickener in the broth. The only sign they’re there afterward are a few green flecks that sort of look like pieces of parsley or basil or something.

After this step, you can add other veggies, meat, or any other ingredient you wish to have in a soup. I added generous piles of chunked potatoes, carrots, green beans, corn, and celery. Cook until those ingredients are done/tender, salt/spice to taste, and you have your soup!

How to defeat it??!?!?

– Zucchini Cobbler –

This was a recipe I stumbled upon one year in zucchini-desperation. I had so many and I was so sick of them that they were all just going to end up in my compost. They weren’t selling and I couldn’t even give them away fast enough.

Then I read about this. It’s not salty. It doesn’t have tomatoes. It was a completely different take on zucchini than any other recipe I had ever seen before. The best part is… it tastes and feels almost exactly like apple cobbler. A lot of people will be fooled if you don’t tell them it has zucchini in it. A few extra picky eaters might be able to sense that something isn’t quite right, but no one I have ever fed this recipe to has disliked it. Now, it is admittedly not very healthy, but man is it good, and very unusual.

The best part is, it uses quite a lot of zucchini, and you can put big zucchini in it too – somewhat big ones even work BETTER than little ones for this, because they come out more apple-like!

However, the preparation is a bit more labor-intensive than the above ideas.

Zucchini Cobbler

8 c. peeled, chopped zucchini (A little further detail about this ingredient – you want to skin the squash first, then slice in half lengthwise, or in quarters if a bigger zucchini. Scoop out seeds and center pulp. Then with the skinless ‘shells’ that are left, slice width-wise into pieces that should look pretty similar to thin, crescent shaped slices of apple)

2/3 c. lemon juice

1 c. sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

4 c. flour

2 c. sugar

1 1/2 c. butter, chilled

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

  • – In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook and stir zucchini with the lemon juice until zucchini starts to get tender. Stir in 1 c. sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and the nutmeg, cooking a minute more. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • – Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 10×15 inch baking dish. In a large bowl, combine the flour and 2 c. sugar. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture starts to look like coarse crumbs. Add 1/2 c. of this mixture into the zucchini mixture you made before. Press half of what’s left into the bottom of your baking pan. Spread the whole pot of zucchini mixture over this, then sprinkle the rest of the butter mixture on top of that. Dash with the last tsp. of cinnamon.
  • – Bake 35-40 min. or until the top is golden. Serve warm or cold.

A few of my added notes on this recipe:

  • – I overdo it with the spices when I’m cooking the zucchini mixture. I always add extra cinnamon as well as a dash of cloves. It’s up to you if you do this. I am a giant spice lover.
  • – I use a 9×13 pan because I don’t have a 10×15. There are no changes. It seems to work fine, it just fills it up allll the way.
  • – I have “accidentally” used really soft or even fully melted butter for this recipe before. It works almost as good, it just makes a gooier topping instead of a crumby one, so you just have to be a little more creative with spreading it out/pressing it into the pan. It bakes and crisps up just fine, though.
  • – I do not dash with cinnamon after – the cinnamon overkill I do in the earlier step takes care of all my cinnamony needs.
  • – Adding some oats to the topping mixture in place of some flour, or sprinkling oats on top before baking, is sometimes a nice touch.
  • – I almost always leave it in closer to an hour. Just keep an eye on it and see when it’s done to your visual satisfaction.

Allegedly, you can also use zucchini to make a remarkably apple-like pie, using a similar preparation/ingredients as is employed in this cobbler. I have never tried it, though.

When this is a ‘bad day’ for you, you know your squashes are going crazy!

My plants are now infected with powdery mildew, and they’re winding down a little with production as compared to the beginning of their season. However, the disease will not kill them – they’re all still setting new blossoms, and will until the first frost, so there will still be plenty of zucchini madness to come!

Advertisements

Read Full Post »