The season of zucchini

Enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Time to cook: If you have an ever-growing zucchini crop — or just picked up some fresh produce from the store — try this recipe for zucchini cake.

By Donna Zitter Bordelon

If you’ve ever grown zucchini, you know that there comes a time in the summer when the words “bountiful,” “prolific” or “out of control” come to mind. When a superabundant crop produces more than I can use — cook, share and freeze are words that come to my mind.

I was at a funeral in the spring and happened to be sitting at a table with a woman who shares my passion for food. With the planting and growing season just getting underway, she told me about the community vegetable garden her husband has participated in for some years, and about a great recipe she makes for the ever-giving zucchini crop that arrives each year. Since I never hesitate to inquire about a recipe, Janine promised to send me her zucchini recipe. Although I did not plant any zucchini this year, the local markets offered some to use to make her great recipe. Taste-testers couldn’t believe it was zucchini!

If you find yourself up to your knees in zucchini this time of year, don’t get your knickers in a knot. Here is a way to enjoy the abundance. Janine wrote, “I have tweaked this all kinds of ways . . . even put it into just a regular pie crust and it is also good.” She shared that her husband “has a ridiculous amount of zucchini right now so this is a great time to cook and even freeze it. Make big batches of the zucchini mixture and just freeze it, but remember to thicken it a little when you want to use it . . . . Enjoy the fruits of your labor.”

JANINE’S ZUCCHINI CAKE/PIE

8 cups peeled, seeded if large, and diced zucchini, about 3½ lbs. (cut pieces the size of large chunks of canned pineapple)

2/3 cup lemon juice

1 cup sugar

1½ tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. mace

¼ tsp. nutmeg

In a large pot, cook zucchini, lemon juice and sugar about 20 minutes (until zucchini is tender).

Add remaining ingredients and cook for 5–10 minutes more.

Crust:

4 cups all purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1½ cups cold butter

1 tsp salt

1½ tsp. cinnamon

Mix flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl.

Cut in cold butter until pea size.

Take ½ cup of the flour crust mixture and add it to the zucchini mixture. Mix well.

Press one-half of the remaining crust mixture into a 10 x 15-inch pan, and bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes or until golden light brown.

Spread zucchini mixture over crust.

Crumble remaining crumb mixture over zucchini mixture.

Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Bake 25–30 minutes until golden brown. Cut into squares.

Eat well, live long, enjoy!

(Ques­tions or tips can be sent to Donna Zit­ter Bor­de­lon at WhatscookinNEPhilly@gmail.com or in care of the Times, 2 Executive Campus, Suite 400, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002)

Recipe Winner:

Congratulations to Sally Litvinas, who submitted the following recipe, and was chosen in a random drawing. Sally is the July winner of a $100 ShopRite gift card.

Sally writes, “This is a great & easy recipe to use with the delicious berries that are in season now!”

BERRY PUDDING CAKE

Serves 6

2 eggs

¼ cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

dash of salt

1 cup fat-free milk

½ cup all-purpose flour

½ tsp baking powder

3 cups fresh berries (i.e. raspberries, blueberries &/or sliced strawberries)

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Lightly spray six 6 oz. baking dishes with nonstick cooking spray & place on 15 x 10 x 1 inch baking pan.

2) Place berries in prepped dishes & set aside.

3) In medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the sugar, vanilla & salt, whisk until light & fluffy. Whisk in milk until combined. Add flour & baking powder until batter is smooth

4) Pour batter over berries. Batter will not cover the berries. Bake for 20 minutes or until topping is golden.

Serve warm.

The recipe submissions have been wonderful. Please remember to include exact measurements in your recipes. You could be August’s lucky winner. Send your recipe to:

Readers’ Recipes

c/o Northeast Times

2 Executive Campus

Suite 400

Cherry Hill, NJ 08002

Or email your recipe to WhatscookinNEPhilly@gmail.com.

Please include your name, home address and telephone number. ••