Summer zucchini for salads, cupcakes


It’s that time of year again when the giant zucchinis just land on your doorstep! Everyone has extras, and my brother brought me several. It’s fun and a challenge to figure out just what to do with them.

I’ve often just sliced the smaller ones, sautéed them with onions in olive oil, and then covered them with grated cheese and let it melt with the lid on. Or slice the little ones and put them in salads, sometimes marinating them first. But it’s also kind of fun to spiralize them. And if you don’t have a spiralizer, you can use a vegetable peeler to make thin strips, or just cut long thin julienne strips. These can be thrown into chicken broth to make a quick noodle soup. Or stir fried with a little garlic and olive oil for just a minute, then tossed with parmesan cheese for a fast tasty side dish. You can cut longer strips to use in your lasagna instead of noodles. The zucchini has such a mild flavor that it just picks up the flavor that it’s cooked with.

My favorite salad made with zucchini was served at a restaurant near Xenia called “The Apple Tree” at the Orchard Lane orchard. I loved to go there for lunch, and I loved their marinated vegetable salad. It was made of sliced zucchini and yellow squash, broccoli, cauliflower, sliced carrots, sliced purple onion, and cherry tomatoes, all marinated in a delicious dressing. It keeps for a while in the refrigerator so I think I’ll make a half batch of it for us. The recipe I have is many years old and I’m not positive it’s exactly as they made it, but it is good.

For dessert, I’m just going to make some Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes. They are good and moist, and easy to share.

Apple Tree Marinated Vegetable Salad

4 cups sliced zucchini

2 cups sliced yellow squash

2 cups broccoli florets

1 1/2 cups cauliflower pieces

1 cup sliced carrots

1 cup purple onion slices

1 cup cherry tomatoes


1 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup wine vinegar

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 Tablespoon salt

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon dry garlic

1/2 teaspoon dry onion

1/4 teaspoon anise

Combine together. Pour over vegetables. Refrigerate before serving.

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup cocoa

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup peeled, shredded zucchini

1/2 cup oil

1/3 cup buttermilk

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with paper or spray. Mix dry ingredients in bowl. Add remaining ingredients and beat for 1 minute. Pour into muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-24 minutes. Cool. Frost if desired.

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Fran DeWine

Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine is a Cedarville resident, Yellow Springs native and guest columnist.

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