Healthy dinners: Zucchini Casserole

This year the Zucchini production is as impressive as ever. Even now as fall begins, the plants in my garden are still blooming and forming. What to do with all this abundance! Gone are the days when a gardener was able to bag them and leave them in unsuspecting parked cars. Today, you rarely see a car with its windows rolled down (I was a victim of this overabundance scheme). At one time, zucchini plants were left anonymously in front of grocery stores, churches or synagogues knowing that they would fall in the right hands. And what to do with those huge ones hiding in full view under overrun leaves? Carved, they make the most charming zucchini ghosts or blobs for Halloween.

Hunting through my collection of vintage recipes I found this recipe. I’m sure many of you have your own versions, but it’s always fun to compare.

This is still my favorite casserole dish. Serve it with salsa, extra Jack cheese and fresh flour tortillas. Add a fresh salad on the side or sliced tomatoes and avocado slices.

zucchinidish 004Zucchini casserole from 1970s, Enis

  • 2 1/2 lbs. of shredded zucchini, uncooked
  • 1 cube of melted butter
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 lb. shredded Jack cheese
  • 2 small cans diced Ortega chilies
  • 4 beaten eggs
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Dash of garlic salt and parsley

Pour 1/2 melted butter in the bottom of casserole dish. Sprinkle 1/2 cup bread crumbs over the melted butter. Mix together the rest of the ingredients.  Spread the mixture over the butter-bread crumb mixture. Sprinkle 1/2 cup bread crumbs on top and drizzle the remaining 1/2 cup butter over the bread crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes. Use a toothpick to check for firmness.

Note: Cut the amount of butter in half by using a non-stick baking dish or non-sticking spray on the bottom of the casserole dish instead of ½ cup melted butter. Add the bread crumbs as noted.

Some hints from the Best of Helpful Hints, 1980. Carrots: Remember, remove the tops of carrots before storing. The tops drain the carrots of mixture, making them limp and dry. Corn on the Cob: To remove corn silk; dampen a toothbrush, and brush downward on the cob of corn. Every strand should come off. My note: If you want to try this, I suggest you use a new toothbrush.

Here’s a quick Zucchini casserole from Beth Watson of Thurmont:  Cut enough zucchini in half, lengthwise to cover the bottom of a 9 x13 glass baking dish. Make sure the pieces are touching. Spread 1 jar salsa over the zucchini and add shredded Mozzarella cheese over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to one hour.

I substituted zucchini circles for the zucchini halves and baked the casserole at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Depending on your stove, bake about 45 minutes.