Zucchini is plentiful this time of year

Sweet treats can be made from all of that excess zucchini, not to mention some tasty savoury dishes

Cathi LItzenberger offers up some tasty recipes for using up that zucchini surplus in your garden.

Cathi LItzenberger offers up some tasty recipes for using up that zucchini surplus in your garden.

I did plant the ever-producing zucchini this year, but for me it was a dismal failure as all I ended up with is three small six-inchers! I shouldn’t really complain I suppose, because I thought I’d planted pumpkins! They’re still out there in the hope they may grow a little more before I pull the plants.

However, zucchinis abound, and today’s recipes feature them. If you have an abundance of zucchini it will freeze well. I just wash and grate them, then package into two-cup portions and freeze for cakes, cookies and casseroles.

The first recipe today is a one-skillet dish that makes a wonderful side or meal in itself. The second is a delicious dessert cake — a moist fudgy, sweet but not extremely sweet, cake that you can frost with chocolate frosting or cream cheese icing. Delicious!

Skillet Zucchini

1/4 cup butter

6 medium zucchini, sliced

1 large onion, sliced

2 large tomatoes, cut into chunks

4 slices cooked bacon. crumbled

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup water

1 cup bread crumbs

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1/2 grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Mix in zucchini, onion, tomatoes and bacon. Season with salt and pepper, and pour in water. Cover, and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender.

Stir the bread crumbs and soy sauce into the skillet, and mix in Cheddar cheese. Cover, and continue cooking 2 minutes, until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese to serve.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups white sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

3 cups grated zucchini

3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9×13 inch baking pan.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add the eggs and oil, mix well. Fold in the nuts and zucchini until they are evenly distributed. Pour into the prepared pan.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool cake completely before frosting with your favourite frosting (cream cheese is my fave).

Cathi Litzenberger is The Morning Star’s longtime food columnist, appearing every other Wednesday and one Sunday per month.