Susan Reda, local foodie and Development & Communications Director for Learning Outside, shares with us another seasonal recipe perfect for including little chefs. Easy Cheese Zucchini Squares are tasty for dinner or as a snack. They also help use up some of summer's seemingly endless bounty of zucchini!
By Susan Reda
Learning Outside’s Learning Garden is bursting with many different varieties of fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs. And, of course our chickens are laying beautiful eggs. I found ingredients for this recipe in the garden, though our area farmers’ markets will have what you need to create these delicious treats.
Easy Cheese Zucchini Squares
These savory, cheesy squares can be served hot or at room temperature. They are great as a hearty snack, in a picnic lunch or as a side for brunch. Children will love to use the box grater to prepare the zucchini and the cheese. Careful with the knuckles and only a few pinches of cheese allowed as a reward for helping out!
3 cups grated medium size zucchini
2 t kosher salt
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
3 large eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
1 t lemon pepper
2 t chopped fresh thyme
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
Makes 8 servings or 36 snack/hors d’oeuvres
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rub inside of 7 x 11 glass dish with vegetable oil.
Stir together the zucchini and salt in a colander and let drain for 15 minutes. Press out the liquid and let drain another 15 minutes. Pick up the zucchini in small handfuls and squeeze out as much liquid ass possible, transferring to a small bowl.
Whisk together flour and baking powder in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until well blended, then whisk in the oil, lemon pepper and thyme. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix well. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the zucchini, onion and cheese. The batter will be very stiff. Scrape it into the baking dish and press it evenly into the corners.
Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes before serving. Add an edible flower like a pansy or nasturtium blossom for a colorful garnish!
The New Southern Garden Cookbook, by Sheri Castle. With permission from the author.