Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

You know it’s zucchini season when you go to the farm to pick up your CSA share and instead of saying, “Take 2 pounds,” the sign on the box of zucchini says, “Take as much as you want.” And then, a bag of zucchini from your step-daughter’s vegetable garden magically shows up on your kitchen table.

That’s okay. I’m not tired of zucchini. Yet. If we had it only in its purest form – sautéed in some fashion – then, yeah, it would get old after a while. But I’m enjoying this culinary challenge to get through all our zucchini (and summer squash and pattypan squash) before it goes bad.

We’ve had zucchini/summer squash pesto, one of my go-to recipes. Jim has made his famous fried summer squash – crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. And I’ve made lots of other dishes:

I recommend all of them. If I still have zucchini this weekend, I’ll make either zucchini cobbler or zucchini bundt cake with orange glaze.

If you can no longer bear the sight of zucchini, try disguising them as zucchini tots. These little buggers are easy to pop into your mouth. They’re good at room temperature or hot from the muffin tin.

Don’t fear an abundance of zucchini — embrace it!

Zucchini Tots | Grabbing the Gusto

Zucchini Tots

You’ll need a mini-muffin tin (or regular muffin tin or sheet pan with Silpat or parchment paper), grater, clean dish towel and a medium bowl.

  • Cooking spray or olive oil
  • 2 cups zucchini, grated
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese – cheddar, Parmesan or whatever flavor you prefer
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs – I used Italian style
  • Salt and pepper
  • Option: fresh or dried herbs – basil, oregano
  • Option: more cheese

Preheat oven to 400. Spray a mini-muffin tin thoroughly with non-stick cooking spray (or wipe cups with olive oil), set aside. You can also use a regular muffin tin and only fill the cups halfway. Or, you can go freestyle and plop the batter on a Silpat (or parchment paper) on a sheet pan – I haven’t tried this method yet.

Grate the zucchini into a clean dish towel until you have two cups. I ended up with more than two cups – that’s okay. Sprinkle the zucchini with salt, and let it sit for at least 10 minutes to draw the excess moisture out. Gather the zucchini up into the middle of the towel and squeeze as much of the moisture out as you can. Yes, you’ll end up with about half the zucchini you did before – that’s okay too. Don’t skip this step or the middle of the tots will be really soggy.

In a bowl combine the zucchini, eggs, onion, cheese, bread crumbs, salt, pepper and optional ingredients like chopped fresh basil or oregano.

Using a spoon, fill the mini muffin cups to the top. Push down on the filling with your spoon so they don’t fall apart when you take them out of the tin.

Bake for 16-18 minutes (18-22 minutes for regular muffin tin), or until the tops are browned and set. I haven’t tried this yet, but I was thinking that topping each tot with a little bit of grated cheese and broiling them for a minute or so until the cheese melts and/or browns, might be tasty too.

Slide a knife around the edges of each tot to remove them from the muffin tin.

Original recipe: Zucchini Tots, Skinnytaste 

~~~

2 years ago on Gusto: Cherry Crumble

3 years ago: Southwestern Potato Salad

4 years ago: Corn Salad and Plum Clafouti

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4 thoughts on “Zucchini Tots

  1. Thomas says:

    Improved version
    Change the bread crumbs to panko
    Add 1/2 cup of corn meal
    Add 1/2 cup of cheddar to 1/2 cup of parm
    Add 1/2 cup leftover corn or frozen

    maybe just a bit more zucchini

    follow directions but use a sheet pan and do like drop biscuit evenly spaced, use broiler to finished top to get nice browning.

    YUM!

  2. deirdrereid says:

    That’s what I’ll try next time, thanks!

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