Giant Zucchini!

August 22nd, 2013

Zucchini are a favorite summer squash and gardeners (and neighbors of gardeners) know they can grow to at least three feet – impressive!

An incredibly versatile vegetable, zucchini flowers are edible too!  They are wonderful sautéed in a lovely summer pasta dish or stuffed with cheese, lightly battered and fried.

Zucchini is the perfect star on the grill. Try my Cumin-Marinated Grilled Zucchini topped with Tomato and Corn Summer Salsa. Just cut medium-sized zucchini in half lengthwise, rub with a little olive oil, sea salt and cumin, then pop on the grill! Top with a great quick-to-make salsa – sweet corn, diced tomatoes, some jalapeño for spice and a touch of lime. Super easy and so delicious!

Have a giant zucchinis? Get sweet with it and grate it into my Chocolate Zucchini Cake.  The zucchini keeps the cake moist and delicious. Top it off with a Chocolate Espresso Glaze – YUM!

And if you just can’t eat them all, then put on some costume wings and become the “zucchini fairy!” Share the zucchini bounty and leave one on your neighbors doorstep – your neighbors will thank you!

My intern, Emily told me her dad used to unload his over-sized zucchini on unsuspecting house guests and neighbors by leaving them on the backseat of their cars for them to find on the drive home – pretty sneaky! Emily grew a pretty decent sized one herself this year, too!

Emily's Zucchini
Emily with her Giant Zucchini !

Whether in the garden or on the grill, zucchinis really are a fantastic vegetable for the summertime! – Kathy

Cumin Grilled Zucchini With Tomato Corn Summer Salsa
Makes 6 servings.

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise (about 1 1/4 lb.)

Salsa
3/4 cup 1/4-inch-diced ripe tomatoes
1 cup fresh sweet corn kernels (about 1 medium ear of corn)
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1 fresh jalapeño, seeded and finely minced
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsps olive oil
2 Tbsps chopped fresh cilantro
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin

Garnish
regular or non-fat sour cream

Pre-heat grill to hot — you want to grill the zucchini over hot coals.

In a large bowl mix together the olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper. Add zucchini and rub oil mixture all over the zucchini, making sure they are covered well. Set aside.

To make salsa: In a large bowl mix together all the salsa ingredients well. Adjust jalapeños as needed for spiciness desired.

To grill zucchini: Place zucchini over very hot coals and grill for about 2-3 minutes on each side to mark zucchini nicely and cook until just done.

Serve zucchini topped with salsa and a dollop of sour cream if desired.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Chocolate Espresso Glaze
Serves 12.

Cake
1/2 cup soft butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups coarsely grated zucchini
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz. wt.)

Glaze
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz. wt.)
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 Tbsps strong brewed coffee or espresso

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a mixer cream together the butter, oil and sugars. Beat in the eggs, vanilla and buttermilk.

Sift together the dry ingredients. Mix into the creamed ingredients a little at a time until incorporated. Stir in the walnuts, zucchini and chocolate chips.

Butter and flour a large (10-cup) Bundt pan and pour in batter. Bake for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean.

Let cake stand in pan for 5 minutes or so then remove from pan and place cake on a rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze: In a small pan heat the chocolate, cream and coffee over low heat till smooth and just melted. Pour over cake. Let set 15 minutes before serving.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Entry Filed under: dessert,KOMO Radio,Lifestyle,Recent Posts,Recipes,sides

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