Thursday, September 15, 2016

A Bid Farewell to Summer: Zucchini, two ways

I recently loaded up on zucchini, trying to get my fill while it's still in season here in Central Texas. It may still feel like summer, but fall is drawing near and soon we will be loading our plates with root vegetables and cole crops.

My 7 month old enjoyed eating whole chunks of soft, steamed zucchini slices and homemade purees like one I made with zucchini, black beans, sweet potato, and cumin.

I often go simple when it comes to zucchini, like cutting lengthwise and grilling, or slicing and sautéing with onion & garlic. This time, feeling adventurous, I looked up some recipes and found two that I will definitely make again.

The first was a chocolate zucchini bread (see this post for a slightly healthier of version Chocolate Zucchini Bread). I used this recipe as my guide:
Changes: I used less sugar, greek yogurt instead of regular, cacao powder instead of cocoa, 63% dark chocolate chips, coconut oil instead of vegetable, and added 1 tsp vanilla extract.
This moist, dense, but not too heavy, cake---errr, bread, was excellent on it's own, but the night I made it we also happened to have some Caramel Salt Lick ice cream from our favorite local shop Lick Honest Ice Creams  so we threw a scoop (or two) on top of the bread. Oh. My. Goodness.... that was heaven!

The next recipe I made was a Zucchini-Tomato-Rice Gratin (YES! I finally got to use my Le Creuset gratin dish).  I used this recipe:
The recipe seems to have a lot of steps, but it's really not that difficult. And once you get the steps down, there is a lot of room for adjustment/substitutions. It would be especially easy using leftover rice instead of making it fresh. I let my zucchini and tomatoes roast a bit longer than the recipe states- until the zucchini was golden and the tomatoes were starting to shrink down. I also let the onions caramelize instead of covering/steaming as the recipe instructs. I did not have fresh thyme on hand, so I used dried, but I would just omit if I don't have fresh in the future. I added fresh basil which was an excellent addition.
I served this alongside roasted salmon and asparagus which all went wonderfully together!


  1. Love this! I made chocolate chip zucchini muffins for our train trip, but now I want to try this "cakerbread"!
    I always want to stuff my zucchini, but now I'm definitely going to try the Gratin.
    You are a culinary creative genius and Winnie and Rob are so lucky to have you!!!

  2. You are amazing! Sounds wonderful!