Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Zucchini Wednesday

Have you ever had something you originally thought was bad turn out to be something good? That happened to me last week. I made a recipe that I was super excited to share but then I got a phone call. My apartment needed some repairs so DB and I had to by out by Monday for a week. Okay, fine, but between rushing to pack an overnight bag, driving to my parents house (Thanks Mom!) and various other distractions, I didn't have time to think about posting. Fast forward to today, to dinner. I had a zucchini recipe I wanted to try and luckily my parents had all the ingredients in the fridge. So instead of sharing one zucchini recipe, I get to share two! Great way to get rid of all that zucchini taking over your garden!

This first recipe was very impromptu; I needed to get rid of my perishable food and wanted something that DB would eat. It turned out really well :-)

Zucchini Bolognese, heavily adapted from Simple and Delicious
The recipe was mostly used for inspiration, I hardly followed it.

First, get your water boiling then add the pasta. I used penne.
While the water is coming to a boil and then while the pasta is cooking, chop up one onion and one zucchini. I quartered the zucchini.

Saute these in about 2 tablespoons oil until crisp tender then pour in spaghetti sauce (I used about half a jar)
Season the sauce to your liking and then let simmer.

I really like Francesco Rinaldi spaghetti sauces. They have the right amount of seasoning without being overpowering and are nicely chunky too. The tomato flavor is good and not overcooked like some sauces tend to taste. I like to add a few pinches of dried basil to my sauce and also a tiny bit of Lucini balsamic vinegar. I abosolutely LOVE this stuff. It's expensive but definitely worth it. It makes the sauce taste fresh but also more "home cooked". Just adds a brightness that is so, so good. But feel free to doctor your sauce however you like, or make a sauce as outlined in the original recipe.

Anyway, the pasta should be done by this time so go ahead and drain it and then top with the sauce. Feed to whatever hungry humans are lurking in your house.

Recipe #2- Crescent Zucchini Pie, from Taste of Home, adapted slightly because of what I had on hand and my inability to read thoroughly
This recipe is my favorite of the two and I will definitely make it again with a few changes. I would prebake the crust for a few minutes before filling because it got a bit soggy and I would not add a splash of milk (I thought the filling looked dry. Do not worry though because the zucchini leaks liquid as it cooks). Also, the recipe did not specify how thin the zucchini should be sliced and I would have like it to be thinner. I'll use a mandoline next time.

  • 1 tube (8 ounces) refrigerated crescent rolls I used garlic flavor- definitely recommend!
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 cups sliced zucchini-
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cubed  - whoops, forgot this but didn't miss it
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese I used cheddar
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oreganoI substituted the parsley, basil, and oregano for a few shakes of Italian Seasoning Blend.
Press the crescent dough into a deep dish pie pan and spread with the mustard. Saute the zucchini and onion in the butter until tender. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, cheese, seasonings, and the zucchini mixture and stir to combine. Pour into the crust and bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes, then slice and serve.

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