Zucchini Recipes and Information at Food Pantries

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Zucchini is a “summer squash”. Others include yellow crookneck, yellow straight neck and scalloped patty pan squash. In many recipes, the different varieties of summer squash are interchangeable. Unlike winter squashes which have hard skins and seeds, summer squashes should be harvested in the immature state so the seeds and skins can be eaten.

zucchini

When selecting summer squash the first place to check is the skin. It should be tender well developed and firm, glossy, brightly colored and intact. Blemishes on the skin can allow bacterial to get into the flesh and you may not be able to wash it away.

For best quality, select zucchini that are 4 to 6 inches long and about 1 to 2 inches in diameter. They are 95% water and dehydrate easily so zucchini keeps best if stored in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator. Don’t wash zucchini until just before you are ready to use it.

Extension Master Food Volunteers (EMFV) Margarete O’Leary from Supply and Terry Amrhein from Sunset Beach recently developed a flyer on zucchini. This flyer is being distributed at food pantries here in Brunswick County. They shared this fun recipe from Oregon State University for Zucchini Pizza Boats.

This is a perfect recipe to make with kids. They can help wash and dry the zucchini, hollow out the seeds and assemble their own “pizza boats.”   Just don’t tell them you’re “sneaking” some vegetables into their diets.

Zucchini Pizza Boats

Ingredients

  • 3 small zucchini
  • ½ cup tomato-based pasta sauce
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated

Directions

  1. Begin with clean hands and kitchen counter. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Wash zucchini in cold running water. Do not peel. Trim ends and cut each half lengthwise. Use a spoon to gently scrape out only the soft, seedy center of the zucchini. It should look like a zucchini canoe. To help you “boat” sit flat, slice a little peel off the bottom. Place the zucchini halves in a small baking dish. Spoon pasta sauce into zucchini halves. Top with mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. What more veggies? Add some chopped mushrooms or green pepper to the sauce.
  2. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until zucchini is tender and can be pierced through with a fork. The cheese should be bubbly and brown. Serve warm. Refrigerate leftovers within two hours. Use leftovers within four days. Makes six “boats.” Each has about 60 calories.

Written by Cheryle Syracuse.