Sunday, August 26, 2012

Hello, zucchini fans!

The Seville Farm Market’s Fourth-Annual Zucchini Smackdown was the greatest ever. There were 16 delicious entries – making it tough work on our three dedicated judges. Click HERE to read a story and see photos of this year’s event by Post contributor Gayle Foster.

We’d like to thank Seville Councilwoman Leslie Miller, Seville chef Jim Morris, and Medina County Court of Common Pleas Judge James Kimbler for thoughtfully tasting each dish. The judges awarded points based on each entry’s appearance, taste, originality and “zucchininess” (that is, the best use of zucchini).

The winners in the Best Savory Dish category were:

First Place: Zucchini Ranch Meatloaf by Amy Huttinger

Second Place: Vegetable Soft Taco by Melanie Gladden

Third Place: Zucchini Lasagna by Kristi Perry

The winners in the Best Sweet Dish category were:

First Place: Zucchini Dessert Squares by Carolyn Keiper

Second Place: Zucchini Chocolate Cake by Joyce Knepp

Third Place: Chocolate Zucchini Roll by Miranda Huttinger

And the big winner in this year’s Largest Zucchini Contest were Gabby, Abby and Maddy Workman whose zucchini weighed in at a whopping 9.4 pounds!

Thanks to all who helped make this year’s event the best ever!

If all this is making you hungry, not to worry. The winning recipes are listed below.


Savory Category Winners
First Place
Zucchini Ranch Meatloaf

By Amy Huttinger

2 lb. ground beef

¾ cup shredded zucchini

½ cup diced onion

Half a green bell pepper, diced

1 egg

1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup plain bread crumbs

1 1-oz. package of ranch dressing mix

¼ cup ketchup

¼ cup steak sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 9-by-13 baking dish.

Mix the ground beef, zucchini, onions, pepper, egg, Worcestershire Sauce, cheddar cheese, bread crumbs and ranch dressing until well combined.

Form the mixture into a loaf.

Stir together the ketchup and steak sauce in a small bowl. Pour the sauce over the top of the meatloaf.

Bake in the preheated oven until no longer pink in the center – about one hour.


Second Place
Vegetable Soft Taco

By Melanie Gladden

1 2/3 cups of fresh corn or thawed frozen corn

1 small zucchini, finely chopped

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 tbs. vegetable oil

1 15-ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained

¼ cup salsa

8 6-inch flour tortillas, warmed

½ cup sour cream

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a large skillet, sauté the corn, zucchini and onion in oil until tender.

Stir in beans and salsa. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat for three to four minutes, or until heated through, stirring occasionally.

Spoon a heaping 1/3 cup onto each tortilla. Top with sour cream and cheese. Fold tortilla over filling. Serve immediately.


Third Place
Zucchini Lasagna

By Kristi Perry

2 large zucchini

1 tbs. salt

1 lb. ground beef

1 ½ tsp. ground black pepper

1 small green bell pepper, diced

1 onion diced

1 cup tomato paste

1 16-ounce can tomato sauce

¼ cup red wine

2 tbs. chopped fresh basil

1 tbs. chopped fresh oregano

Hot water, as needed

1 egg

1 15-ounce container of low-fat ricotta cheese

2 tbs. chopped fresh parsley

16 oz. chopped Swiss chard, steamed

1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced

8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

8 oz. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a deep 9-by-13 baking pan.

Slice zucchini lengthwise into very thin slices. Sprinkle slices lightly with salt; set aside to drain in a colander.

To prepare the meat sauce, cook and stir ground beef and black pepper in a large skillet over medium high heat for five minutes. Add in green pepper and onion; cook and stir until meat is no longer pink. Stir in tomato paste, tomato sauce, wine, basil and oregano, adding a small amount of hot water if sauce is too thick. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer sauce for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Meanwhile, stir egg, ricotta and parsley together in a bowl until well combined.

To assemble lasagna, spread half the meat sauce into the bottom of prepared pan. Then layer half the zucchini slices, half the ricotta mixture, all of the Swiss chard, followed by all of the mushrooms, then half the mozzarella cheese. Repeat by layering the remaining meat sauce, zucchini slices, ricotta mixture and mozzarella. Spread Parmesan cheese evenly over the top; cover with foil.

Bake 45 minutes. Remove foil; raise oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake an additional 15 minutes. Let stand for five minutes before serving.


Sweet Category Winners
First Place

Zucchini Dessert Squares
By Carolyn Keiper

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

½ tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. salt

1 ½ cups cold butter


8 to 10 cups cubed, seeded, peeled zucchini (4 to 5 lbs.)

2/3 cup lemon juice

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. ground nutmeg

1 tsp. vanilla

Optional: 1 cup ground nuts for topping

In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly; reserve 3 cups. Pat remaining crumb mixture into the bottom of a greased 13-by-9-by-2 baking pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, for filling, place zucchini and lemon juice in saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for six to eight minutes or until zucchini is crisp-tender. Stir in sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg; cover and simmer for five minutes (mixture will be thin).

Spoon over crust; sprinkle with the reserved crumb mixture. Top with ground nuts, if desired. Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until golden. Yield: 16-20 servings.


Second Place
Zucchini Chocolate Cake

By Joyce Knepp

½ cup butter, softened

1 ¾ cups sugar

½ cup canola oil

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup 2 percent milk

½ cup buttermilk

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

¼ cup baking cocoa

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

2 cups shredded zucchini

½ cup semisweet chocolate chips

Confectioner’s sugar

In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar and oil until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

Combine milk and buttermilk. In another bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt; add to batter alternately with milk mixture, beating well after each addition. Fold in zucchini.

Transfer to greased 13-by-9 baking pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake at 325 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Dust with confectioner’s sugar. Serve with fruit.

Third Place
Chocolate Zucchini Roll

By Miranda Huttinger

3 eggs

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ cup baking cocoa

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 cup shredded peeled zucchini

1 tsp. vanilla extract

¾ cup sugar

1 tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. salt


1 8-oz. package cream cheese

¼ cup butter, softened

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

Line a greased 15-by-10 baking pan with waxed paper. Grease the paper; set aside. In a large bowl, beat eggs for three minutes. Gradually add sugar; beat for two minutes or until mixture becomes thick and lemon-colored. Stir in zucchini and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; add to egg mixture until well blended (batter will be thick).

Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool for five minutes. Invert onto a kitchen towel dusted with cocoa. Gently peel off waxed paper. Roll up cake in the towel, jelly-roll-style, starting with a short side. Cool completely on a wire rack.

For filling, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until fluffy. Beat in confectioner’s sugar until smooth.

Unroll cake; spread filling evenly over cake to within a half-inch of the edges. Roll up again. Place seam-side-down on a serving platter. Dust with confectioner’s sugar. Cover and refrigerate one hour.

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