Monday, September 21, 2009

Z is for Zucchini


who knew...who knew....

Preparatory to my hosting the WofW luncheon last Friday I researched our friend, zucchini.  I shared the information with the guests in attendance.  Here are the most interesting things I found out:

Zucchini is a fruit, although considered a vegetable gastronomically.
Zucchini should be picked between 6-8 inches for maximum nutritional value. (although it can grow up to 3 feet)
The French like their zucchini 2 inches long.  smaller the better.  They usually pick it right after he flower falls off. (thanks for this little bit Laura!)
Zucchini is high in vitamins C, A, and some B's.
Zucchini is a powerful antioxidant to protect against disease.
A medium zucchini is only about 25 calories.
Zucchini contains omega 3 fatty acids
Best to store in the refrigerator.
Don't peel! Eat the skins.  They contain a lot of nutrients.
High in fiber.
Zucchini is a natural anti-inflammatory. 
It helps reduce swelling.  A wonderful natural remedy for both arthritis and asthma.  ( maybe you can comment about your mother, Caitlin!)

Eating zucchini raw is best, as is eating any fruit or vegetable.  Cooking reduces nutrients.  We discussed ways to eat it raw, although we all brought cooked zucchini recipes.  Dice it up in a salad, cut it into sticks for dipping. 

For the luncheon I grilled zucchini.  I sliced it about a half inch thick lengthwise (long thick slices), used a pastry brush and brushed olive oil on each side, salted it and pressed some fresh garlic to rub on each piece.  I grilled each one straight on the grill like a hamburger, just flipping it over when it was done.  I grilled up some peppers the same way.  After it was done grilling, I sliced them into bite-size chunks and tossed them with some penne pasta, olive oil, fresh grated parmesan, fresh garlic and fresh basil.  delicious!

Here are a couple more things from the table:

Zucchini Soup
Caitlin R.

1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1 T olive oil
1  1/2 ib zucchini cut into 1/4 inch pieces
3 cups of broth
1 16 ounce can of beans (she used black)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Saute chopped celery and onion in hot olive oil over medium heat for about 8 minutes or until tender

Add zucchini and next 4 ingredients.  bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce to low and simmer for 10 minutes until zucchini is tender.

Remove from heat and serve.

You can also process this in the food processor until smooth if you would like.  Let it cool for about 20 minutes first though.  Heat up again afterward.

Baked Summer Squash
Laura J.

1 1/4 lb squash (zucchini or yellow)
1 small onion, minced
3 T butter, melted
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1/2 t. salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 c. minced parsley
6 saltine crackers

1. rinse and trim ends of squash.  Shred with shredder or in food processor to measure 4 cups.
2. in skillet, saute onion and squash in 2 T butter, stirring frequently until squash is tender
3. Beat lightly egg, milk,s alt and pepper. mix with squash, onion and parsley.  Spread into greased, shallow 1/2 quart baking dish.
4. mix cracker crumbs and remaingin butter. sprinkle over mixture.
5. Bake at 450 for 15 minutes or until well browned.
Laura reports that her children gobble this up and usually don't like squash! (so she really likes this recipe)
Hooray for zucchini!

1 comment:

  1. Add layers of shredded zucchini in lasagne and it is delicious.


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