One ingredient, many ways: Zucchini - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

One ingredient, many ways: Zucchini

Updated: June 23, 2011 03:47 PM EDT
Leek and Zucchini Galette (©Leah Koenig/Bonnier) Leek and Zucchini Galette (©Leah Koenig/Bonnier)
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  • Blueberry Cheesecake Bars with Oreo Cookies, 7/22/14

    Blueberry Cheesecake Bars with Oreo Cookies, 7/22/14

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:12 AM EDT2014-07-22 15:12:24 GMT
    Alan BennettYield: 32 servingsIngredients:1 1/4 Quart Oreo Pieces-small, divided6 Tbl. butter, meltedCup Original Cream Cheese, softened2 Cup sugar4 Ea. eggs1 1/4 Cup fresh blueberries1/3 Cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate, meltedDescription:Cheesecake bars made with fresh blueberries and Oreo Cookie Pieces.Preparation Steps:Combine 1 lb. of the Oreo Pieces and butter; press evenly onto bottom of 1 parchment-lined half-sheet pan. Place cream cheese and sugar in large bowl of electric mixer fitt...More >>
    Alan BennettYield: 32 servingsIngredients:1 1/4 Quart Oreo Pieces-small, divided6 Tbl. butter, meltedCup Original Cream Cheese, softened2 Cup sugar4 Ea. eggs1 1/4 Cup fresh blueberries1/3 Cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate, meltedDescription:Cheesecake bars made with fresh blueberries and Oreo Cookie Pieces.Preparation Steps:Combine 1 lb. of the Oreo Pieces and butter; press evenly onto bottom of 1 parchment-lined half-sheet pan. Place cream cheese and sugar in large bowl of electric mixer fitt...More >>
  • Melinda's chocolate peanut butter "dump" cake

    Melinda's chocolate peanut butter "dump" cake

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:20 AM EDT2014-07-22 13:20:16 GMT
    From Melinda Mayo, My Chocolate Peanut Butter "Dump" Cake was a hit this morning on Daybreak. I love to cook, but I don't bake a lot, so I bought this new cookbook with easy recipes. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake 1 Pkg (about 15 oz.) chocolate fudge cake mix 1 1/4 cups water... 3 eggs 1/3 cup vegetable oil 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter, *warmed divided 1 cup mini peanut butter cups *Microwave peanut butter on LOW (30%) about 2 mins until pourable 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13 x 9...More >>
    From Melinda Mayo, My Chocolate Peanut Butter "Dump" Cake was a hit this morning on Daybreak. I love to cook, but I don't bake a lot, so I bought this new cookbook with easy recipes. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake 1 Pkg (about 15 oz.) chocolate fudge cake mix 1 1/4 cups water... 3 eggs 1/3 cup vegetable oil 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter, *warmed divided 1 cup mini peanut butter cups *Microwave peanut butter on LOW (30%) about 2 mins until pourable 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13 x 9...More >>
  • Grilled Jalapeno & Tequila Chimichurri, 7/21/14

    Grilled Jalapeno & Tequila Chimichurri, 7/21/14

    Monday, July 21 2014 10:32 AM EDT2014-07-21 14:32:35 GMT
    On the Border2 cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil1 cup lime juice¼ cup Agave Nectar3 Garlic cloves½ cup cilantro leaves½ cup diced red onion1 medium sized jalapeno, grilled and de-stemmed1/2 Tbsp Salt (or to taste)¼ cup of 100% Blue Agave Reposado TequilaPut all items in a blender and pulse until all items are incorporatedKeep ½ cup separate for basting after grillingMarinade beef, fish or chicken for 2 hours, discard marinade.Brush meat with reserved marinade after cookingTop with fresh cracked Bla...More >>
    On the Border2 cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil1 cup lime juice¼ cup Agave Nectar3 Garlic cloves½ cup cilantro leaves½ cup diced red onion1 medium sized jalapeno, grilled and de-stemmed1/2 Tbsp Salt (or to taste)¼ cup of 100% Blue Agave Reposado TequilaPut all items in a blender and pulse until all items are incorporatedKeep ½ cup separate for basting after grillingMarinade beef, fish or chicken for 2 hours, discard marinade.Brush meat with reserved marinade after cookingTop with fresh cracked Bla...More >>


By Leah Koenig

Like baseball games and backyard barbecues, the zucchini is a permanent fixture of summer. Well-known to home gardeners as the plant that keeps on giving, zucchini are first harvested in early summer and continue to grow prolifically until the first frost. Come mid-July, it is not uncommon to find an overwhelmed gardener sneaking bags full of the cylindrical squash onto their neighbor's front porch.

Considering its current ubiquity in American cooking, the zucchini entered this country's culinary consciousness only recently. All squash were originally New World plants, cultivated in Central and South America as early as 7,000 BCE. The French and Spanish explorers, who originally mistook the indigenous squash they discovered as a variety of melon, helped introduce pumpkins and other varieties of squash to Europe by the early 1500s. Italian farmers are credited for developing the modern zucchini from an heirloom variety brought to Europe sometime in the early-1800s. A century later, Italian immigrants arriving in America brought their beloved zucchino (literally "little gourd") back across the Atlantic. Zucchini caught on quickly; by 1941, an issue of Good Housekeeping informed readers that, "If you haven't [yet] tried zucchini (Italian Green Squash), you've missed a lot."

Today, zucchini -- both the green variety and its golden-skinned cousin -- are supermarket staples. And as summer begins to heat up, the tables at the farmers' market grow heavy with them -- first with delicate, egg yolk-orange zucchini blossoms, followed by small, tender fruits that soon grow to resemble huge, caveman-style clubs.

Like all summer squash varieties, zucchinis have tender, edible skin and buttery flesh. They can be baked, roasted, grilled, steamed or deep-fried, and their high water concentration adds moisture to cakes and quick breads. When buying zucchini, remember that taste typically follows size. For cooked preparations, choose smaller, more flavorful fruits. But when sheer bulk is key, as in baking, the larger, comparatively tasteless zucchinis work just fine. The recipes below celebrate the zucchini's culinary range, offering enough diversity to keep the "little gourd" interesting all summer long.

SWEET

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Grated zucchini all but disappears in this dark chocolate cake, but helps create an extra moist crumb.

Food52: Zucchini Lemon Cookies
These golden, sweet-tart cookies come beautifully dotted with flecks of bright green.

SAVORY

Leek and Zucchini Galette (pictured above)
This rustic summer galette is brightened by a dollop of lemon-scented ricotta.

Marinated Zucchini
Garlic and red wine vinegar soften and add depth of flavor to the zucchini in this deeply satisfying side dish.

Zucchini and Pasta Sandwich
Caramelized zucchini and pecorino-topped pasta make a surprisingly sublime sandwich filling.

Squash Blossom Beignets
Squash blossom season is short, so make these delicate, fried treats while you can.  They are so good you might just end up eating them straight from the frying pan.  

Zucchini Pie
This custard-rich, egg and zucchini pie is topped with a flaky phyllo dough crust.

NY Times: Zucchini Pasta
Ultra-thin slices of zucchini stand in for fettuccine in this summery pasta dish.

DRINK

Nola.comZucchini Tini
Zucchini's vegetal flavor perfectly offsets sake and gin in this zesty martini.

GourmetZucchini Lime Tequila Slushies
Zucchinis are packed with water, making them the ideal base for this refreshing, summer drink.

Leah Koenig is a freelance writer and author of The Hadassah Everyday Cookbook: Daily Meals for the Contemporary Jewish Kitchen (Rizzoli, 2011).

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