Thanks, Grandma: Rediscovered zucchini recipe brightens meatless menu

zucchini casserole bread

Zucchini Casserole Bread is something different for a meatless meal. Serve with soup and/or salad. (Photos by Laura Groch)

When life gives you a bag of surplus zucchini, here’s a vegetarian dish to help you make use of them. It’s a nice option for those observing Meatless Fridays for Lent and/or Meatless Mondays or Meatless Every- and Anydays. (It’s also worth bookmarking for when the zucchini days of summer arrive.)

I rediscovered this dish recently while rummaging through my cookbooks for something a little different. (And yes, I had extra zucchini to use.) Grandma Teresa gave me the recipe back in the 1970s; no doubt it was making the rounds of homemakers at the time. She called it “Zucchini Cake,” but it’s far from sweet. To me it’s more like a Zucchini Casserole Bread.

sliced zucchini

I quartered and then sliced my zucchini thinly to keep the pieces on the small side. A mandoline will give you thinner slices if you prefer to keep them whole.

It’s great cut into squares and served warm alongside a soup or salad, or both. I also found a variation that was cut into small squares or bars and served as an appetizer. You could also try it baked in a mini-muffin pan as an appetizer.

I sliced my zucchini by hand, but if you prefer thinner slices, try using a mandoline. Grated zucchini, though, would probably add too much moisture unless you really pressed the heck out of it.

Vary the cheese to your liking. I used grated Parmesan, but grated Cheddar works well, too. You can also add a sprinkle of the cheese of your choice on top in the last few minutes of baking. Grandma Teresa would approve.

Zucchini Casserole Bread

Grease the pan well before pouring in the batter. This is the casserole before it went into the oven.

ZUCCHINI CASSEROLE BREAD, or Grandma Teresa’s Zucchini Cake

3 slightly beaten eggs (or equivalent egg substitute)

1/3 cup vegetable or olive oil

1/2 cup grated Italian cheese (or shredded Cheddar)

1 cup chopped onion

1 1/2 cups Bisquick baking mix

3 cups finely sliced zucchini (about 2 medium)

Pinch oregano or basil or both, or your favorite dried herb mix

Pinch garlic powder or garlic salt

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until blended. Pour into greased 8-inch-by-8-inch or 9-inch-by-9-inch greased casserole dish. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in middle comes out clean. Should be slightly browned on top. Serves 4-6.

(c) copyright 2015 Laura Groch

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