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LifestyleColumnistsMarge Perry

3 Simple recipes to make with zucchini

Lightly sautéed zucchini tossed with orzo, feta, lemon,

Lightly sautéed zucchini tossed with orzo, feta, lemon, extra- virgin olive oil and parsley. Photo Credit: Marge Perry

ORZO WITH ZUCCHINI, LEMON AND FETA

1 cup orzo (about 6 ounces)

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut across in 1⁄2-inch slices

3⁄4 cup crumbled feta

1⁄4 cup parsley, chopped

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄8 teaspoon black pepper

 

1. Cook the orzo in lightly salted boiling water until al dente (about 9 minutes) drain and toss with 1 tablespoon of the oil and the lemon juice.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high. Add about half the zucchini in a single layer and cook until browned on the undersides, about 3 minutes; turn and cook another 1 minute. Transfer to the bowl with the orzo and repeat with the remaining oil and zucchini; add to the pasta.

3. Stir the feta and parsley into the pasta; season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 234 calories, 8 g protein, 26 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 12 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 377 mg sodium

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QUICK ZUCCHINI REFRIGERATOR PICKLES

1 cup cider vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 1⁄2 teaspoons coriander seeds

1 1⁄2 teaspoons mustard seeds

1⁄2 teaspoon celery seeds

1 bay leaf

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1 1⁄4 pounds zucchini, cut across in thin rounds

 

1. Bring the vinegar, sugar, salt, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, celery seeds, bay leaf, garlic and 1 cup water to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Allow to boil 1 minute.

2. Place the zucchini in a large bowl or baking dish and pour the pickling liquid over, taking care to submerge the zucchini. Allow to cool to room temperature; cover tightly and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Makes 16 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 13 calories, 1 g protein, 2 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 0 fat, 0 saturated fat, 183 mg sodium

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ZUCCHINI CASSEROLE

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

3⁄4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs

1 1⁄4 pounds zucchini, cut on a sharp diagonal into 1⁄4-inch slices

1 (24-ounce) bottle basil tomato sauce

1 1⁄2 cups (6 ounces) shredded low-fat mozzarella, divided

6 tablespoons grated Parmesan, divided

 

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat 2 baking sheet pans with cooking spray.

2. Combine the flour, salt and pepper on a plate. Beat the eggs in a large bowl and spread the breadcrumbs on a separate large plate. Working with 1 slice at a time, coat the zucchini in flour, and shake off the excess. Dip the slice into the egg mixture to coat, again shaking off the excess, then dredge in the breadcrumbs and place on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining zucchini slices. Bake 8 to 9 minutes; turn the zucchini over, rotate the baking sheets in the oven and bake until golden brown, another 8 to 9 minutes. Remove and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

3. Coat an 8-inch-square baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1⁄2 cup of the sauce over the bottom of the dish. Arrange the zucchini slices in a single layer, cutting as needed so they fit. Top with 1⁄2 cup sauce, followed by 1⁄2 cup mozzarella cheese, and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese. Repeat layering twice more with the remaining ingredients.

4. Bake until the zucchini is tender and heated through and the cheese is melted, about 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting. Makes 9 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 176 calories, 12 g protein, 19 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 6 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 642 mg sodium

TIP: When cooking with very large zucchini, use a spoon to scoop out the seeds in the center for a more even flavor and texture.

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