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COLUMN: From Grandma’s Kitchen - Try something amazing with your zucchini

— By September, many of us know our way around a zucchini. Between our gardens and friends offerings from their gardens, how to use them can be overwhelming.

We use them in breads and patties, stews and sauces, casseroles and omelets, then we fry, sauté, boil and grill the life out of this vegetable.

This is no ordinary vegetable, but the over abundant supply keeps us looking for new ways to prepare it.

I have a favorite recipe using zucchini that I think will become one of your favorites, too. It is for dessert squares called “I can’t believe it’s zucchini bars.” The name says it all. Very few people can guess you are using zucchini in the filling; they taste like apples or pears, with a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg. I can guarantee you’ll get rave reviews.

Don’t worry about the size of the zucchini, it all cooks in the filling. Hope you like the recipe!

I Can’t Believe It’s Zucchini Bars

1 large zucchini

2/3 c. lemon juice

1 c. sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Peel zucchini and remove seeds. Dice into small pieces. Place in a saucepan with lemon juice and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Add sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon then simmer two to three minutes; let cool.

4 c. flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 c. softened margarine

2 c. sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

In a large bowl, place the flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon. With a fork or pastry cutter, blend in the margarine until fine crumbs appear. Press half of the crumb mixture on bottom of ungreased 9x13-inch pan. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Let crust cool. Mix 2/3 of crumb mixture left in bowl into cooked and cooled zucchini filling. Pour and spread carefully over crust. Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture over filling and bake at 350 degrees for another 30 minutes, or golden brown. Remove from oven, let cool and cut into squares. Serve and enjoy!

Annette Sica is a resident of Baldwinsville. Years ago, she used to write a column for the Baldwinsville Messenger titled Coffee with Annette and she is happy to be writing cooking columns for her community again.

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