8.01.2007

I Love Zucchini! And A Keeper From the Recipe Box

I love zucchini! I look forward to zucchini harvest and can't wait to bake it, sauté it, freeze it, grate it, put it into baked goods, and fry it. This summer squash, with it’s mild taste, is low in calories and contains useful amounts of folate, potassium, and Vitamin A.

So why do gardeners spent so much energy figuring out creative ways to get rid of their bumper crops of zucchini? One reason is because know matter how many times you recheck the vegetable bed a zucchini often lurks under a leaf or behind the fence. Then one may be so big it is hard to slice it and sauté it. Another reason is because you seem to have one or ten that mature at the same time. No in between. My Uncle Harry’s favorite joke is, “ Don’t drive by my house with your windows open in August. You’ll end up with zucchini in your lap. Ha ha ha.!” That is when I grate and freeze it.
I remember the year JEJ didn’t think the first zucchini plants were going to make it so it planted a few more. They all made it! That was when I learned lots of creative ways to prepare zucchini. I will share some of my favorite recipes during the harvest season. The recipe below is the one I made last week when we had one of those “ ten zucchini” days.
Also, remember many food banks take fresh produce. Before you hook up a slingshot to send zucchini over to your neighbor's yard, call the food bank.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
½ cup butter at room temperature
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup buttermilk
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
2 ½ cups flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup chopped walnuts
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat over 350. Cream together the butter, oil, and sugars. Beat in the eggs, vanilla and buttermilk until smooth. Sift together dry ingredients; mix into creamed mixture a little at a time. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Grease and flour a large bundt pan and pour in batter. Bake an hour and fifteen minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. (I usually check it after an hour)
Let cake cool in pan five minutes, then put on rack to cool. Serves12.

taken from Pacific Northwest: The Beautiful Cookbook

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