Tag Archives: zucchini

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Zucchini Quesadilla

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Katie:  Although I haven’t been too ambitious with cooking lately, this was a simple creation that turned out delicious!  Using what I happened to have at home, I blended about 1 tablespoon of homemade pesto with 1 jar of roasted red peppers for a tasty sauce.  I spread it on a whole wheat tortilla, topped half with zucchini slices and shredded cheese, and cooked it.  So simple, yet so good!

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Turkey meatballs and roasted eggplant with lemon and onions

Turkey meatballs and roasted eggplant with lemon and onions

After getting the cookbook Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi from the library, I decided to make this meal of turkey and zucchini burgers with a sour cream sumac sauce and roasted eggplant with fried onion and chopped lemon. It was a bit of a challenge to find the sumac, but Penzeys had it. It was a delicious meal! I am really enjoying cooking with these new Israeli ingredients and flavors.

Stuffed acorn squash

Matthew:  I’ve been accumulating squash from my CSA for the past few weeks and I finally had a break in more perishable vegetables and was able to use some of them.  My friend Beth, who is a genius in the kitchen, sent me a recipe for Stuffed Spaghetti Squash with glowing reviews.  I instead used acorn squash, but it still turned out great.  The recipe also calls for marinara sauce.  It would have been great to use homemade sauce, but since I didn’t have any on hand, I found some good quality canned sauce.  As Beth said, this is really a great recipe for using up random vegetables.  I actually used so many vegetables that they didn’t all fit back in the acorn squash halves, so I had to use another baking dish for the extra.  This is definitely a d0-over!  Here’s the recipe:

Italian Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Prep: ~ 45 minutes total time, 20 active prep.  chop/saute all the veggies while the squash is cooking and it’ll be quick.

Ingredients:

– 1 spaghetti squash
– 1/2 T. olive oil
– 1/2 chopped:
celery
carrots
onions
bell pepper
zuchinni
summer squash
mushrooms
(or anything you need to get rid of)
– 2 cloves garlic, chopped
– 1 cup spinach
– 1/4 tsp salt and pepper
– 1/2 c. bread crumbs or almond meal if you’re going gluten free
– your fav marinara sauce (~ 1 cup)
– 2 oz. shredded mozzarella
– 1 oz. parmesan

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400F. Halve the squash length-wise and scrape out the seeds. Place the halves of the squash in a large pot of boiling water for 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool.  (I roasted my squash which worked fine.)

In a large skillet, sauté the garlic and onion in olive oil. Add celery, carrots, peppers, salt and pepper and cook veggies until softened. Add zucchini, squash, mushrooms, and spinach and cook an additional 5 minutes.

Scrape the meat out of the squash and place in a large bowl. Add the sauteed veggies, breadcrumbs, and marinara sauce. Mix everything together, then return the mixture to the empty squash halves. Top with extra marinara, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese. Bake until the top is bubbling and melted.

Grilled Vegetables with Tzatziki

Matthew:  After eating at some Mediterranean restaurants in Madison lately, I thought that I should try making tzatziki. I found this recipe and bought some Greek yogurt at the co-op.  The first time I made it, I only used one cucumber.  It was good, but a little too thick to use as salad dressing.  This time around, I used two cucumbers and it was a good consistency.  I didn’t have any fresh dill, so I put in dried dill and that seemed fine.  I was going to bring the tzatziki to Concert on the Square to go with crudités, but since the concert was cancelled because of weather, I was left with a giant bowl of tzatziki.  I decided to turn to my CSA box for inspiration and thought grilling some vegetables would be nice.  I used my George Foreman Grill (thanks to the Helgerson family!) and it actually worked really well for the vegetables.  Just before eating, I threw the pita on to toast it and then added the toppings.  This was a really good dinner.  I used eggplant, zucchini, and green beans with a little raw cucumber and the combination of vegetables, toasted pita, and garlicky tzatziki was delicious.  I’m sure it would be good with many different kinds of vegetables or with a giant lamb leg on a spit if you happen to have that lying around.

Summer Squash and Tomato Tian

Katie:  After so much celebrating, I finally had time this weekend to do something with the summer squash from Flori’s parents’ garden.  They brought us a big yellow squash and a big zucchini.  I decided to try this recipe for Eggplant, Zucchini, and Tomato Tian, substituting squash for the eggplant.  It took awhile to bake, but it was worth the wait.  The fresh herbs (parsley, oregano, and thyme) mixed with baguette crumbs and parmesan cheese made it especially flavorful.  I served it as a main dish, but it would probably also be good along with roasted chicken.

Zucchini Spaghetti

Katie:  After seeing a few recipes for zucchini spaghetti on different food blogs (e.g. here, here, and here), I was interesting in trying it.  It’s basically zucchini cut into really thin strips and served like noodles with a sauce.  I used a citrus zester which worked really well.  I used two small, firm zucchinis and stopped peeling when I reached the seedy part in the middle.  Since they were so thin, I didn’t have to cook them at all.  I served my zucchini noodles with Fettuccine with Clams, Basil, Tomato, Corn, and Garlic (I substituted shrimp for the clams and used canned tomatoes) and roasted carrots with honey and rosemary.  It was a good weeknight meal!

Zucchini Quesadillas

Katie:  I wanted to take advantage of the abundance of zucchinis in season, but I knew I would have to make something attractive enough to convince Flori to eat them too.  I decided to make zucchini quesadillas, based on this recipe and this recipe.  Here’s how I made them:

Zucchini Quesadillas

  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1-2 large garlic cloves
  • Zucchini – I used 3 small ones
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Kidney Beans
  • Tortillas

Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet and sauté the zucchini and garlic with the chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper.

Remove the zucchini from the pan and clean it. Add a tortilla and top it with cheese, zucchini and beans, and top it with a second tortilla. Cook it until the cheese begins to melt.  Flip it and continue cooking until the tortillas are light brown and crispy.

I served the quesadillas with Roasted Corn and Garlic Salsa, Refried Beans, and plain yogurt.  They were really good!  The salsa was little too garlicy, so next time I would use less.  I made 2 quesadillas and used the rest of the fillings to make burritos.