Thursday, September 1, 2011

3 Easy Recipes with Zucchini and Summer Squash

As I mentioned earlier this summer, my family joined a CSA for the first time this year. During the month of August, we received an abundance of zucchini and summer squash. I was actually a little disappointed when there was none at yesterday's pick up (now we've got an abundance of peppers and tomatoes) because I've been having fun experimenting with some new zucchini recipes. I thought I'd share a few of my favorites below.

Baked Ziti with Zucchini and Summer Squash

1 lb ziti
2 Tbs olive oil
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 medium yellow squash, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups (8 oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 egg, slightly beaten
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
½ tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
cooking spray
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Cook pasta according to directions. Drain and return to pot.
  • Mix together ricotta cheese and egg.
  • Add ricotta mixture and 1 ½ cups of mozzarella cheese to the cooked pasta and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Saute zucchini, yellow squash, and onion for about 5 minutes.
  • Add tomato and garlic and cook for about 3 more minutes.
  • Stir cooked vegetable mixture into pasta mixture.
  • Add basil and oregano.
  • Spray a large baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Transfer pasta mixture to baking dish.
  • Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.
Serves 10.

Note: This dish freezes very well. Increase the cooking time if baking from frozen.

Slow Cooker Ratatouille
Adapted from The New Creative Crock Pot Cookbook by R.T. Swatt, 2001.

2 medium eggplants, cut into ½-inch thick round slices
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium zucchini, cut into ½-inch slices
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 medium yellow squash, cut into ½-inch pieces
2 medium tomatoes, sliced into wedges
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup chicken broth (or white wine if you have it)
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
grated Parmesan or crumbled feta cheese (optional)
  • Place the eggplant slices in a large colander and sprinkle with salt to remove excesss water. (I peeled my eggplant first, but that is optional. I know there are lots of nutrients in the skin, but I don’t care for it.)
  • After 30 minutes, rinse the salt off the eggplant and pat dry.
  • Cut the eggplant into 2-inch pieces.
  • In a large skillet, sauté the eggplant, onion, garlic, zucchini, yellow squash, and red pepper for a few minutes.
  • Transfer to a slow cooker and add the tomatoes, olive oil, chicken broth, and vinegar.
  • Cover and cook on Low 4 to 6 hours.
  • Serve with cheese if desired.

Serves 8.

Note: This recipe can also be frozen, but it tastes better fresh; it became a little more watery through the freezing/reheating process.

Summer Squash Ribbons with Lemon and Parmesan
Adapted from

1 large zucchini
1 large yellow squash
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
½ cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
salt and pepper to taste
  • Cut the squash and zucchini into long, thin ribbon strips using a vegetable peeler. Stop peeling when you get to the seeded core.
  • Place squash in a large bowl.
  • In a separate small bowl, combine oil, lemon juice, cheese, and salt and pepper.
  • Pour dressing over squash ribbons and toss gently to combine.

Serves 6.

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