Bring on the zucchini!

Published 8:00 am Saturday, August 4, 2018

It’s the time of year when farmers markets are offering an assortment of fresh produce.

Planning meals around vegetables that are in season can be creative and fun. Blue Lake Green Beans, sweet corn, maters and, of course, the most prolific vegetable of all — zucchini — are now plentiful at your local market or favorite produce stand.

Lucy: I remember a favorite cartoon that showed the local farmer going from house to house in the middle of the night leaving bags of zucchini on neighbors’ porches. Sometimes you want to hide if a friend rings your doorbell loaded down with more zucchini!

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Linda: Oh yes. How many loaves of zucchini bread can you bake and fit into the freezer? Zucchini and summer squash tend to adopt the flavors of whatever they’re cooked with, so there must be more ways to serve it.

Lucy: I clipped out a recipe from Southern Living Magazine a few summers ago. It’s called “Old School Squash Casserole” and is quite delicious. I often serve it with tilapia or cod. But it’s good with chicken and burgers also.

Linda: I have a recipe from Taste of Home that I’ve been wanting to try. The recipe uses fresh herbs to add flavor to the vegetables. I like Blue Lake Green Beans, and I’ve been finding them at the market lately. The recipe also uses julienned zucchini and summer squash, which I can prepare in my food processor. But I think it would be easy to use the spiralized squash that you can now find in deli sections at the grocery. But you would want to cut it into 2 or 3-inch pieces.

Lucy: It’s a good time of year to be using herbs that you planted in the beginning of the summer. I have another recipe that I like because it can be ready in 30-40 minutes. It’s Zucchini and Yellow Squash Gratin.

Linda: I love that recipe. I recently served it with baby back ribs and pork. It was tasty. I think these recipes offer our readers some special ways to use up all the zucchini your neighbor might leave on your doorstep in the middle of the night!

Southern Living “Old School Squash Casserole”


Servings: 8

3 pounds yellow squash, sliced ¼ inch thick (about 5 medium sized squash)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

1 medium yellow onion chopped

2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 eight-ounce container sour cream

½ cup mayonnaise

4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese shredded (about 1 cup)

2 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded (about ½ cup)

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

½ teaspoons black pepper

2 sleeves round buttery crackers (like Ritz), coarsely crushed

1 ounce shredded Parmesan cheese (about ¼ cup)

Heat oven to 350 F.

Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add squash, onion, and 1 teaspoon of the salt, cook stirring often, until center of the squash is just tender and liquid is evaporated, about 10 minutes.

Transfer mixture to a colander set over a bowl. Drain 5 minutes. Discard any liquid. Stir together eggs, sour cream, Cheddar and Swiss cheeses, mayonnaise, thyme, pepper and remaining salt in a large bowl. Gently fold in squash mixture. Spoon into a lightly greased 11-by-7-inch (2 quart) baking dish.

Microwave remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a medium size microwaveable bowl until melted. Toss together crackers, Parmesan cheese and melted butter until combined; sprinkle over casserole. Bake in preheated oven about 20 minutes until golden brown.

“Herb Garden Vegetables”


Servings: 4

¼ pound fresh green beans (I like Blue Lake), trimmed and cut in 2 to 3-inch pieces

¾ cup fresh sugar snap peas, cut in half

1 tablespoon olive oil

¾ cup julienned yellow summer squash

¾ cup julienned zucchini

¾ teaspoon each minced fresh rosemary, sage, basil and thyme

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

2 tablespoons crumbles blue cheese (Feta would also work)

In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook beans and peas in oil for 3 minutes.

Add the zucchini, squash, herbs and pepper flakes.

Cook and stir 3 to 5 minutes longer, or until vegetables are crisp tender. Sprinkle with cheese just before serving.

“Zucchini And Yellow Squash Gratin”


Servings: 4 to 6

Start to finish: 50 to 60 minutes

2 tablespoons butter

2 medium zucchini, sliced ¼ inch thick

2 shallots, minced

2 medium yellow squash, sliced ¼ inch thick

2 garlic cloves, minced

Coarse salt and ground pepper

½ cup heavy cream

1 cup Panko crumbs

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat heat oven to 450 F.

In a large skillet melt butter over medium heat; add zucchini, yellow squash, shallots, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini and squash are crisp tender, 4 to 6 minutes.

Add cream and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat; stir in ½ cup panko and ¼ cup Parmesan.

Spoon mixture into a shallow 2 quart baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining panko and Parmesan; season with salt and pepper.

Bake until top is golden brown, 10-20 minutes.