Zucchini Diner Dinner

Aug 1st

This weekend I was gifted my coworker Erin’s CSA share, a large box from Stillman’s Farm. When they say large they aren’t joking – my dining room table is currently overflowing with greens and summer squash, eggplant and corn. I’m trying to efficiently make my way through everything, but it can be difficult to make it through 15 pounds of vegetables…especially when you have someone who isn’t fond of about half of what is there.

Chris does not like zucchini. Or most summer squashes. Or eggplant. Therefore I am currently trying to find creative recipes to make these things more palatable for him as well as still enjoyable for me, using as much produce as possible. My first step – zucchini. Long lauded for its ability to be shoved into sweet breads and cupcakes without being noticeable, I figured there would be a dearth of zucchini recipes that focused the flavor and texture elsewhere. I found a few recipes and decided to use them for a diner-inspired meal of veggie tots, biscuits, eggs, and bacon.

I started with a recipe for “zucchini tots,” from Skinny Taste.

  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • .25 cup grated potato
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 Tbs seasoned breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cooking spray

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F, and oil a miniature cupcake tin.

Start by grating your zucchini, and grate more than you think you will use. Put the grated zucchini in some cheesecloth, or a few paper towels if none is handy, and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. You want the zucchini to be more of a dry ingredient than a wet one. Then do the same with a small potato.

Put the grated veggies in a bowl, then add in the egg, cheese, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper. Give a good stir, then spoon the mixture into your tin, being sure to pack down the mixture.

Zucchini Frittata Batter

Bake in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the edges are golden and pulling away from the pan. Allow to cool, then enjoy!

Mini Zucchini Frittatas

First things first, these did not come out like tater tots for me. Instead they were like 2 bite frittatas, or crustless quiches. As far as I am concerned that is awesome. They are hearty and a bit heavy, and while they get a decent crust on the outside the inside is soft and textured thanks to the grated vegetables. They are quite savory, but the taste is mostly egg and cheese, as well as a bit of potato…you can see the zucchini, but it’s flavor is for the most part hidden. What little “green” flavor you can taste could be anything. These would be great at a brunch as they come pre-portioned, and the recipe is easy to scale up. They also crisp up nicely the next day in a toaster oven – I had them for breakfast today.

Next up are the biscuits, another vehicle for both zucchini and more cheddar. I adjusted this recipe from A Cozy Kitchen, using a little more zucchini and a little less cheese.

  • .5 cup zucchini, shredded
  • .5 Tsp salt
  • .25 cup grated cheddar
  • 1.25 cups of flour
  • .5 tablespoon baking powder
  • .5 stick butter, cold and cubed
  • .5 cup milk

Bring the oven up to 450 degrees F, and oil a baking sheet.

Prepare the zucchini as in the above recipe, being sure to remove as much liquid as possible. Add in the salt and cheese, and mix to combine.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and butter. Mix with your hands to integrate the butter, making the flour mixture crumbly. Pour in the milk, give a quick stir, then add in the zucchini mixture and stir until just combined. When just mixed, spoon the batter onto your prepared baking sheet.

Zucchini Biscuit Batter

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the biscuits are golden. Remove, cool, and serve plain or with some butter or jam.

Cheesy Zucchini Biscuits

These biscuits. Mmmm.  They are flaky and buttery and cheesy…and though they are also zucchini-y they don’t taste it. They are just a good old-fashioned biscuit that has enough moisture to survive an evening to make it to the next day. Personally I think they could stand more zucchini, but a half dozen of these is a good way to kill a small zucchini for the less loving members of your family. They would also be great as an accompaniment for all sorts of meals, from breakfast to dinner.

The only warning I would offer is to not serve them together, unless on offer at a buffet style meal. They both have the same coloring, and can unfortunately look boring on a plate next to each other. My diner dinner was fantastic though, and I used up a very large zucchini in the two side dishes.

Zucchini Filled Diner Dinner

So what are problem foods in your family, and what are some of your favorite dishes to help sneak in those foods?