Zucchini, Part 1

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So like many gardeners this time of year, my zucchini runneth over. Unlike many gardeners, I had the prudence and foresight to plant only one zucchini and one patty pan squash, rather than the multitude of varieties that I really wanted to have. There are only two of us in our house, and the cat does not eat his vegetables like a good boy. And yet, I still find myself wondering what to do with the sizeable hill of squash overtaking my vegetable bin. How does this happen with just two plants and a not-so-hot summer?

Thus, here is the first of a couple of posts that include recipes for zucchini. I don’t know about you but I get sick of the same old sauté and long for something more interesting. This recipe came from Cooking Light magazine, but like all recipes I can’t leave well enough alone and had to riff on it to add more Cadi-ness to it. My changes are starred at the end of each paragraph. This is hearty enough to be dinner alone, and it halves easily so you aren’t stuck eating it for many moons.

Squash Rice Casserole

Adapted from Cooking Light, Makes 8 Generous Servings

Ingredients

8  cups  sliced zucchini(about 2 1/2 pounds)

1  cup  chopped onion

1/2  cup  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

2  cups  cooked rice

1  cup  (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese

1  cup  fat-free sour cream

1/4  cup  (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided

1/4  cup  Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs

1  teaspoon  salt

1/4  teaspoon  black pepper

2  large eggs, lightly beaten

Cooking spray

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine first 3 ingredients in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until tender. Drain; partially mash with a potato masher.  *I’m not a big fan of boiled squash. I sliced mine thinly and sautéed it with the onion in a nonstick pan with a teaspoon of olive oil, Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste. I then added ¼ cup of water, put on a lid, and steamed the squash for a minute or two until it was soft but not mushy. I didn’t bother to mash any of it either.*

Combine zucchini mixture, rice, cheddar cheese, sour cream, 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and eggs in a bowl; stir gently. Spoon mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Preheat broiler. Broil 1 minute or until lightly browned.

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