Monday, June 28, 2010

3 More Things to do with Zucchini

We have had a cold and rainy start to summer so not much else is growing in my garden except greens and some hardy strawberries. We should be in zucchini season so I thought I would blog about that ubiquitous squash. I actually didn't plant any zucchini because we are always given more than we can eat; in fact I still have some frozen from last summer! Following are my three favorite ways to prepare it for the family. Any summer squash can be used in place of zucchini in the recipes.

ONE: Zucchini is a great first food for baby; it is mild and easy to cook and puree. Just wash it, cut off the ends, and slice. Steam the slices until they begin to fall apart - start checking after 5 minutes. Once they are cooked, puree, adding cooking water if needed. And voila, easy baby food. You can flavor it with salt and pepper for older kids. Freeze the leftovers in an ice cube tray (see photo above) to store for later. Pureed zucchini is also great mixed with other purees; we like it with apple or pear sauce.

TWO: For babies who are just starting finger foods, shredded zucchini is perfect. Just wash, slice off the ends and shred with a cheese grater. You can serve it alone or in a pasta salad - try it with cooked orzo pasta, shredded carrots, shredded Parmesan, and tossed with balsamic vinaigrette.

THREE: Veggie Enchilada Casserole, this serves 6 and is good for babies who have mastered finger foods.

1 T olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 zucchini, shredded
1 can diced tomatoes, drained; or three small tomatoes, chopped
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups corn, frozen or fresh
1 t ground cumin
1 large can enchilada sauce (we like the green)
1 bag shredded sharp cheddar cheese (splurge on the pre-shredded, you'll thank me later)
6 to 8 taco-sized corn tortillas, cut into quarters

Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Butter a 9x13 glass baking dish and set aside. Saute the onion in a deep saute pan with the olive oil. Cook over medium until just starting to soften. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, add the zucchini, tomatoes, black beans, corn and cumin and stir. Add the veggie mix to the onion and cook until heated through, 3 to 5 minutes.

Cover the bottom of the glass baking dish with a single layer of tortilla pieces. Next, spread half the veggies over the tortillas, then half the enchilada sauce, then half the cheese. Repeat the layers once more, cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 10 more minutes. Serve with a green salad and orange slices.

1 comment:

Grace said...

yummy! i love zucchini!