in the kitchen

in the kitchen

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Zucchini with Rosemary, Savory or Sweet

Zucchini bread with or without spices, zucchini soup, stuffed zucchini, zucchini brownies--they all are OK with me. Here are two of my favorite ways to use up my harvest each year. Each also utilizes fresh herbs. The photo above shows a portion of my herb garden: golden sage, chives, parsley, rosemary.

Sauteed Zucchini
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium zucchini

1 medium crook neck squash

1/2 medium sweet onion (like Vidallia)
1 red or orange bell pepper

2 tablespoons
chopped fresh herbs
Sea salt

Fresh ground pepper

Prepare veggies and herbs by cutting squashes in half lengthwise then slicing thinly. Cut onion in half lengthwise and sliver one half---reserve other half for another use. Cut pepper in half lengthwise and clean out seeds. Then slice it into thin ribs and half them crosswise. Chop herbs as well. Place saute pan over high heat and when hot, pour in olive oil. Add squashes and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn down heat to medium high. Stir in onions and peppers and continue to cook until veggies are getting brown. Add herbs, salt and pepper to taste and continue to cook for another 2 or 3 minutes. Serve immediately or use in a frittata, as a crepe filling with feta cheese or stir into cooked pasta with Romano cheese.

Hints: My favorite herb combos are rosemary with parsley, multiple varieties of basil, sage with Greek oregano. This dish is best with young zucchini and crook neck. The squash will release quite a bit of liquid; you need to cook them long enough for that to evaporate a bit so they can begin browning. The onions will caramelize if you use medium heat and cook long enough. I like to add the herbs in the last few minutes so that their flavor is still quite bright.

Here is my favorite take on lemon bars. Don't listen to what Neal has to say about them.
He was just sick of my experimenting with both zucchini and rosemary. Poor guy, has to endure my creative jags. They are great frozen too. (The cookies, not the jags.)

Rosemary Lime Zucchini Bars
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tablespoon grated lime zest (one medium lime)
1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine above ingredients. Spray the bottom of a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Spread the crust into the pan and press down firmly. Bake 15 minutes. remove from oven and pour the following mixture over hot crust.

5 large eggs
1 cup finely shredded zucchini
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 tablespoons lime zest (about 3 limes)
1/2 cup lime juice (about 4 limes)
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
While crust is baking, beat eggs until thick and pale. Squeeze excess liquid out of zucchini then measure 1 cup. Add zucchini, sugar, flour, lime zest and juice, rosemary and salt to eggs. Beat until well combined. Pour over hot crust and return to oven for 25 minutes or until set and beginning to brown. Remove from oven and dust with powdered sugar. Allow to cool slightly before cutting into rectangles.

Hints: Some varieties of rosemary are stronger flavored than others. If you have a strong type, you may need to back off on the amount of rosemary in this recipe. Be sure to get out as much of the liquid in the zucchini as possible so that the bars will set up properly. I leave the skin on the squash because the color flecks add to the final products appearance.

I plant a small area of the yard with herbs. The fresh picked herbs make everything they go in taste fabulous. Herbs like basil, rosemary, cilantro and parsley are robust but need to be replanted every year in our climate. Sage, chives and oregano merely need to be cut back occasionally. Mint will take over an area and is hard to contain. Haven't tried dill yet--maybe next year. Chewing on a basil leaf while touring the yard with Stella makes all right with the world.

1 comment:

  1. Perfect timing. I planted 4 squash plants thinking that 2 would die but so far they are fat and happy. Mike is praying for squash bugs.