Zucchini, or zucchini squash is one of the several names you’ve heard in English, given to the Cucurbita pepo, or to each one of the vegetable platters I make, simply and commonly known as “zucchini”. And this vegetable, more than any other member of the Cucurbita genus (in which we also find other favorites, like cucumbers). Zucchini’s hold a special place in our vegetable dishes in Mexican cuisine. They are not only highly valued produce, but so is their previous state before converting into zucchini, their flowers, which are delicious in stews.
Zucchini were domesticated by pre-Hispanic culture, thousands of years before the Europeans’ arrival. Some of the most ancient zucchini fossils can be found in Oaxaca, in southern Mexico. This fruit, or vegetable is another case of success in American vegetation. When they came into contact with the rest of the world they were adopted to such an extreme so as to create new identities for French and Italian cuisine.
Zucchini are a low-calorie food, due to their high water content, and they can also provide us with vitamin A, which is necessary for maintaining our immune system, and very important in the growth of minors. They also contain vitamin C, which also protects the immune system. They also provide other, more interesting nutrients, like lutein and zeaxanthin, which are carotenes and kelp keep our vision healthy. Let’s take a look at these recipes that I have, just so you get a craving to try them:
- 6 zucchini
- 2 eggplant
- 1 yellow onion
- 4 tomatoes
- 1 red pepper
- 1 yellow pepper
- 3 cloves of garlic, diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 small handful of basil, wrapped together with a string
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cut the eggplant into cubes and moisten them with one and a half teaspoons of salt water, for 10 or 15 minutes. Afterwards, drain water.
- Dice onion, and cut zucchini, tomatoes, and peppers into cubes.
- Add olive oil to a frying pan and fry eggplant until they are lightly golden, and soften. Set aside.
- Fry the onions in garlic in the same frying pan. When the onions begin to turn transparent, add basil and bay leaves. Salt and pepper this preparation.
- After adding peppers and zucchini, add tomatoes after 5 minutes of cooking. Cook another seven minutes and add egg plant. Let cook on medium heat, constantly stirring for ten more minutes.
- Remove the handful of basil, adjust salt and pepper, and serve.
- 3 zucchini
- 300 grams shrimp
- 200 grams filleted mushrooms
- ¼ onion, diced
- 1 tomato, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 200 grams manchego cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Clean and devein shrimp.
- In a frying pan, with a bit of oil, fry garlic and onion. Afterwards, add shrimp, and salt and pepper to taste. Once finished, set aside and dice.
- Cut zucchini in half and extract filling with a spoon. Set the filling aside.
- Cover the baking tray with aluminum foil, and place zucchini on top of foil. Lightly salt and pepper.
- Mix the shrimp with the onion, tomatoes, mushrooms, and zucchini filling. Fill zucchini and cover with manchego cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 200 degrees C, until zucchini turn golden and become soft. Serve.
Chocolate zucchini cakes
- 300 grams diced zucchini
- 250 grams wheat flour
- 55 crams cocoa
- 1 egg
- 60 ml plain, Greek yogurt
- 60 ml vegetable oil
- 200 grams sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- ½ c. raisins
- Sugar glass
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. sodium bicarbonate
- ¼ tsp. salt
- Process zucchini into a paste.
- Mix flour, cocoa, baking powder, sodium bicarbonate, and salt. Stir all ingredients until well mixed.
- 3. In a blender, add sugar, yogurt, and oil. Afterwards, add the egg and teaspoon of vanilla, until creating a uniform mixture.
- Add zucchini puree to the yogurt and add, afterwards, the flour, and lastly, the raisins. Blend everything.
- Place dough in a greased and floured pan. Bake at 170 degrees C for 25 minutes. Use a toothpick to test how well the bread is cooked. After baking, let cool. Once cool, add a bit of sugar glass on top as decoration, serve.
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