This time of the year, as summer begins to ebb, I’m reminded of times when my gardening friends would call and ask for help with getting rid of an over- abundance of zucchini. They would want me to supply them with new recipes other than zucchini bread! They knew I had a cookbook collection and wanted me to do the research for them. Of course, now they can do their own research on their computer. Those times were good for laughs and I suggested that they not plant zucchini the next summer and just buy what they needed at one of our great farmers markets.
However, in my research I did discover some very appealing recipes using that prolific vegetable. I hope you will enjoy these recipes for tousled zucchini, zucchini and tomato frittatas and a zucchini and tomato salad.
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
8 ounces zucchini thinly sliced
1 small tomato, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, or 2 teaspoons dried
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon, or ¼ teaspoons dried
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground
black pepper to taste
¼ cup heavy or whipping cream
¼ cup grated Gruyere
or Monterey jack cheese
2 tablespoons freshly grated
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch ceramic quiche dish, and set it aside. Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet. Add the garlic, and cook over medium-low heat for 2 minutes. Add the onion, raise the heat slightly, and cook for another 2 minutes. Then add the zucchini, tomato, herbs, vinegar, and salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and cook until the zucchini is slightly wilted, about 4 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the prepared quiche dish. Beat the eggs with the cream, and pour this over the zucchini. Sprinkle with the Gruyere and Parmesan cheeses, and bake until golden, about 25 minutes. Serves 4 to 6.
Zucchini and Tomato Frittata
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium zucchini, cut into
1 small Vidalia onion, cut into
1 garlic clove
2 ripe Roma or plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped into 1-inch cubes
8 large eggs
¼ cup (2 ounces) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons minced chives
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Heat the olive oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion softens, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato and heat through, about 2 minutes. Whisk the eggs, Parmesan cheese, chives, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Pour over the vegetables. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, uncovered until the bottom of the eggs are set, about 3 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake until frittata feels set when pressed in the center, 12 to 15 minutes. Invert onto a serving plate. Serve hot or cooled just to room temperature. Makes 8 servings.
Cold Zucchini and Tomato Salad
3 to 4 zucchini, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices (about 3 cups)
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup minced shallots
½ cup chopped fresh basil
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 small clove garlic, mashed
½ teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Juice of ½ lemon
½ cup vegetable or olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Combine the zucchini, tomatoes, shallots, basil, and parsley in a large bowl. Toss, cover, and chill well. In a small bowl, mash the garlic and salt together with back of a spoon until the mixture forms a paste. Stir in the mustard and lemon juice. Whisk in the oil, vinegar, and pepper. Toss the dressing with the zucchini-tomato mixture just before serving. Serves 6 to 8.
Cheers to zucchini and the season’s harvest!