Bounteous Gardens

It’s that time of the year again when the folks who planted zucchinis are being inundated with piles of green sausages and requests for recipes are peppering Facebook and other venues on the internet.  Since a few friends are among those who are asking, it’s time to share a few of my family recipes to use up these delicious veggies.


 

Zucchini Raisin Nut Cookies

Coming from my Czech grandmother, these were like crack when we were kids.  Soft, lightly sweet, and almost impossible to stop eating once you’ve had one.  Double batches rarely made it to the end of the next day (unless Mom hid ’em away).  These are not your usual dry cookies, so don’t even try to store them for very long.  For the adult, these cookies would pair very well with malty, caramelly ales such as brown ales and Scottish ales.

  • 1 egg
  • 1c brown sugar
  • 1/2c sugar
  • 1/2c butter
  • 2c sifted flour
  • 1 1/2tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp clove
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4c milk or fruit juice
  • 1 1/2c minced or shredded zucchini
  • 1c raisins or currants
  • 1c chopped walnuts

    Beat egg, sugars, and butter together. Add flour and spices.  Add milk/juice and blend well.  Add zucchini, nuts, and fruit and mix thoroughly.  Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets.  Bake at 400*F for 10-12 minutes until golden and firm.  This recipe also works well poured into muffin pans (as normal, only fill them halfway).


 

Zucchini Soup

At an early age, my sister and I “decided” that we didn’t like zucchini.  Mom made us “Green Soup” and we loved it, could hardly get enough.  This is also a recipe that is great for those HUGE zucchinis with more texture than flavour.  It’s also wonderful when buried in piles of zucchini because it freezes very well and stores well long-term that way (best flavour is gotten adding the herbs after thawing, rather than before freezing).  With the combination of flavours involved, this soup pairs very well with rich, bold beers such as Russian Imperial stouts and barleywines – however something light and crisp, such as a Kolsch or extra pale ale would clear the palate and let the soup’s simple complexity be dominant.

  • 1# zucchini, washed and sliced or shredded
  • 1c water
  • 1 chicken or vegetable boullion cube
  • 1/8 tsp basil
  • 1/8 tsp thyme
  • 1/8 tsp marjoram
  • 2c milk
  • sour cream or yogurt
  • cheese croutons

    Bring zucchini, water, and boullion to boil.  Cover and simmer gently until tender.  Cool and puree in blender.  (Can be frozen at this point.)  Add basil, thyme, marjoram, and milk.  Heat, but do not boil.  Top each bowl with 1-2 Tbsp sour cream and a handful of cheese croutons.


 

Zucchini Cassarole

I think this one came from one of Mom’s friends at church, but she’s been making it since before I can remember.  Works well with zucchini alone, or mixed with summer squash or delicata.  I’ve never tried it, but using a combo of butternut and acorn squash would probably be very tasty too.  This recipe should serve 6.  A tough one to pair, there are a lot of flavours and textures in this dish.  It has a very creamy flavour profile that would be best complimented by earthy IPAs, Oktoberfest/Marzens, rustic farmhouse ales, and gueuzes.

  • 1/4c chopped onion
  • 2# (~6c) sliced zucchini
  • 1/2c butter
  • 8oz stuffing mix
  • 1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
  • 1c sour cream
  • 1c shredded carrot
  • 1tsp chicken boullion

    Cook squash and onion in boiling salted water.  Melt butter and combine with stuffing mix. Spread half on bottom of cassarole dish. Combine soup, boullion, sour cream, and carrot. Fold in drained squash and onions. Pour into cassarole dish and top with remaining stuffing. Bake uncovered at 350*F for 25-30 minutes.


 

I don’t have any of my own squashes planted this year (just hops).  If someone wants to gift me with some of their extras, I’ll be happy to make up all of these to add photos. 😉