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Recipe Swap – for Jul. 28, 2011

I brought them home as two tiny bedding plants and they didn’t look like they’d make it at first. Lo and behold, a few weeks later they’ve grown into gigantic green-armed creatures the likes of which you’d run screaming from if you met them on the beach. They are our zucchini plants, doing ever so well, out in the garden. I think I can hear them exhaling, as they blow up their cylindrical balloons of yellow and green.

The time of year has come to start swapping zucchini recipes.

Come end of July, I turn to a well-thumbed copy ofZucchini: You Can Never Have Enoughby John Butler. Mr. Butler, a master Canadian chef and gold medal winner of culinary awards, might have added the word “recipes” to the title of his 100-plus zucchini recipe book.

In zucchini season, everyone’s looking for new ways to prepare them. Here are three selected from Chef Butler’s 2001 cookbook. I know you’ll enjoy them. We have. And if you’re still overwhelmed, when they start to reach fire-log size, get creative; last summer I presented my sister with one wrapped in a flannel blanket and wearing a bonnet – and she happily took it home with her!

CHOCOLATE ALMOND ZUCCHINI CAKE

Telling your kids there’s zucchini in this cake is optional. They won’t notice. I’ve made this moist and chocolatey cake every summer. It’s delicious.

1-1/2 c. granulated sugar

1/2 c. soft butter

1/4 c. vegetable oil

1 tsp. almond extract

2 large eggs

2-1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1/4 c. cocoa

1 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9 x 12-inch baking dish. In a large bowl, beat together with an electric mixer, the sugar, butter, oil, and almond extract. Add the eggs and beat until the mixture is light and creamy, about four to five minutes. Add the flour, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon, orange peel, and buttermilk. Mix well scraping down the sides of the bowl. Fold in the zucchini, chocolate chips, and almonds. Mix until all ingredients are well blended. Pour mixture into baking dish. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Test for doneness with a small knife; if the knife comes out clean the cake is cooked. Don’t overbake; this cake should be moist and tender.

Makes 18 servings.

Source of zucchini recipes:Zucchini: You Can Never Have Enoughby John Butler. The University of Alberta Press ( www.uap.ualberta.ca) 2001. Reprinted with permission.

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 c. buttermilk

2 tsp. finely grated

orange peel

2 c. grated zucchini

1 c. chocolate chips

1/2 c. chopped almonds

SUGAR-GLAZED LEMON LOAF

One more recipe for a summer picnic or late-afternoon snack. Serve this with a glass of ice tea, or lemonade. This recipe comes from the Manitoba Canola Growers’ Association website and was a prize-winning entry to its Country Fair Creative Canola Oil Baki.

LOAF:

1-2/3 c. all-purpose flour

1-1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

2/3 c. finely chopped

walnuts (optional)

1/3 c. canola oil

1 c. granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp. grated lemon zest

1/2 tsp. vanilla

2/3 c. milk

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly spray one 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with canola oil. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt and walnuts. In a large bowl, beat together canola oil, sugar, eggs, lemon zest and vanilla until light and fluffy. Mix in dry ingredients, alternately with milk. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for approximately 60 minutes, or until test comes out clean.

GLAZE:

2 tbsp. lemon juice

1/2 c. granulated sugar

Combine lemon juice and sugar. Mix well.

Transfer lemon loaf to rack. Gradually drizzle lemon glaze over hot loaf. Cool lemon loaf completely in pan on rack.

Yield: 1 loaf.

Sendyourrecipesorreciperequeststo:

ManitobaCo-operatorRecipe Swap

Box 1794, Carman, Man. R0G 0J0

or email [email protected]

BABY ZUCCHINI WITH TRI-COLOUR PASTA

The trick to not being inundated with garden zucchini is using them up small, which is when they’re also incredibly delicious and palatable.

3 c. tri-colour fusili pasta

4 Roma tomatoes

1/4 c. olive oil

24 to 30 baby zucchini,

sliced lengthwise

3 garlic cloves, chopped

10 large basil leaves,

chopped

1-1/2 c. heavy cream

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp. flat-leaf

parsley, chopped

1/3 c. grated

Parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta according to pasta directions. Set aside but keep warm. Blanch the tomatoes by plunging them into boiling water for one minute, then cooling in cold water. Remove the peel and seeds, then chop coarsely. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. The oil must be hot. Add the sliced zucchini and cook until the zucchini begins to turn golden brown. Add the garlic, tomatoes, and basil leaves; pour the cream over the ingredients. Shake the pan to mix the ingredients; season with salt and pepper. Cook for one to two minutes. Spoon sauce over the tricolour pasta, sprinkle with parsley and Parmesan cheese and serve hot. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

GARDEN CASSEROLE WITH HERB BISCUIT TOPPING

Get out the grater when the zucchini growth gets away on you. Grated zucchini, whether in dishes such as this light supper meal, or mixed into cakes and cookies, makes everything deliciously moist.

4 c. grated zucchini

1 large red onion,

finely diced

6 green onions

2 medium carrots, grated

4 medium tomatoes,

thinly sliced

1/3 c. grated

Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

3 eggs

1-1/2 c. milk

1-1/2 c. biscuit mix

2 tbsp. chopped

fresh parsley

2 tbsp. chopped

fresh chives

Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly grease a 12 x 9-inch baking dish. Cover the base of the dish with the grated zucchini. Sprinkle the onion, green onions, and carrots on top of the zucchini. Layer with the tomato slices. Sprinkle cheese over vegetables; season with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, blend the eggs, milk, biscuit mix, parsley, and chives with a whisk or electric blender. Pour batter over vegetables. Bake casserole for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 F and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a knife in the centre of the casserole.

Serve hot. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

CHEF’S NOTE:This is an excellent way to use up cooked vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli and green beans or drained canned chickpeas or green and yellow beans and kernel corn. Add them to the vegetable layers.

Recipe Swap

Do you have a favourite zucchini recipe you’d like to share with us? We love hearing from readers and receiving your favourite recipes and recipe

requests. If you’d like to contact us by mail write to: ManitobaCo-operatorRecipe Swap

Box 1794 Carman, Man. R0G 0J0 or email [email protected]

About the author

Reporter

Lorraine Stevenson

Lorraine Stevenson is a reporter and photographer for the Manitoba Co-operator with 25 years experience writing news and features. She was previously a reporter with the Farmers Independent Weekly and has also written for community newspapers in Winnipeg and Manitoba's Interlake.

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