Did you know 'zucchini' is actually the Italian word for this prolific summer squash? If you ever happen to be in the UK or France, you can expect the same vegetable to be called 'courgette'. Whatever you call it, this delicious and versatile vegetable has become a favorite worldwide after their humble beginnings in the Americas. It is low in calories and is a good source of folate, dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin A and C, copper, and manganese. Most of the nutrients are concentrated in the glossy green rind, so try to keep it in tact, rather than peeling it away, to derive the most health benefits.
Zucchini Recipes in this Section:
Zucchini Garlic Soup
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 white onion, sliced
8 to 9 large cloves garlic, sliced thinly
4 medium zucchini, about 1 1/2 pounds
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
Salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a heavy 4-quart pot over medium heat. When it foams, add the sliced garlic and onions and cook on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent. Keep the heat low enough that the garlic doesn't brown; you want everything to sweat.
When the onions are soft, add the zucchini and cook until soft. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer at a low heat for about 45 minutes.
Let cool slightly, then blend with an immersion blender until creamy, or transfer to a standing blender to puree. Be very careful if you use the latter; only fill the blender half full with each batch, and hold the lid down tightly with a towel.
Taste and season with ginger, salt and pepper. Like most soups, this is significantly better after a night in the refrigerator to let the flavors meld.
Zucchinbi Herbed Casserole
1/3 C. uncooked long grain white rice
2/3 C. water
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 1/2 lb. zucchini, cubed
1 C. sliced green onions
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 1/2 C. seeded, chopped tomatoes
2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
Combine the rice and water in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes, until rice is tender. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a shallow 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat, and cook the zucchini, green onions, and garlic 5 minutes, or until tender. Season with garlic salt, basil, paprika, and oregano. Mix in the cooked rice, tomatoes, and 1 C. cheese. Continue to cook and stir until heated through. Transfer to the prepared casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve with a crusty French bread or soft breadsticks. Yield: 6 Servings.
Zucchini, Spinach & Mushroom Lasagna
1 1/2 C. reduced-sodium, low-fat (1%) cottage cheese
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg (lightly beaten)
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 lb. zucchini
12 no-boil lasagna noodles (7x3 1/2-inches) (or 6 no-boil lasagna sheets (8x8-inches))
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups marinara sauce
1 1/2 cups fresh whole leaf spinach
1 cup fresh sliced mushrooms
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In medium bowl, mix together cottage cheese, Parmesan, egg and nutmeg. Spread 1/4 cup of marinara sauce evenly over bottom of dish. Place 2 small lasagna pieces or 1 sheet in bottom of dish. Spread with zucchini one-quarter of the mozzarella and 1/4 C. of the marinara sauce. Repeat the noodle layer a second time. Spread evenly with 1/2 of the cottage cheese mixture and then 1/4 C. of the marinara sauce. Repeat the noodle layer a third time. Spread evenly with the spinach, then ¼ of the mozzarella and 1/4 C. of the marinara sauce. Repeat a fourth layer of noodles. Cover with the remaining half of the cottage cheese mixture and ¼ C. of marinara sauce. Top with a fifth layer of noodle. Cover with mushrooms, ¼ of the mozzarella and ¼ C. of marinara sauce. Top with a sixth layer of noodle. Top with remaining marinara sauce and remaining mozzarella.
Cover dish tightly with aluminum foil. Place on a baking sheet. Bake until filling is bubbly and noodles are tender, about 40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.