I’ve often thought farmers and gardeners must be the most creative chefs. They constantly face the challenge of coming up with new ways to eat copious amounts of the season’s harvest. Take a walk through your local farmers market this time of year, and you’ll find zucchini in abundance. A green squash with mild flavor, in Georgia, zucchini is in season from May through October.
The word zucchini comes from “zucca,” the Italian word for squash. I’d venture to say it may be one of the most versatile vegetables out there. Search the internet and you’ll find no shortage of recipes showcasing the ingredient, including every cooking technique from grilling, baking and sautéing to stuffing the popular squash. It’s used in soups and casseroles, even shredded and added to baked goods. Complimentary in sweet or savory dishes, zucchini is kin to cucumber and melon and can be eaten raw or cooked. Remember, when choosing zucchini, bigger is not necessarily better. Small to medium-sized zucchini are the most flavorful, and the darker the skin, the richer the nutrients.
One of the most popular ways to use the vegetable is by making bread. Today, I’m sharing my Zucchini Walnut Muffins with a Citrus Rosemary Glaze, a sweet, nutty muffin that makes a delicious morning breakfast or afternoon snack. The glaze is fragrant and simple to assemble. There’s nothing quite like a comforting muffin to welcome the upcoming fall season, and what fun to turn a vegetable into a baked good.
For more local, in-season recipes, visit my food blog at SomeKindaGood.com, or check out my best-selling memoir, Some Kinda Good, available in Statesboro at Georgia Southern’s University Store, or wherever books are sold. Good food and good company, that’s what it’s all about!
Rebekah Faulk Lingenfelser is the author of the best-selling memoir “Some Kinda Good.” Featured in Forbes, on Food Network and ABC, she writes about Southern, coastal cuisine, locally sourced and in-season. Connect with her on social media by liking Some Kinda Good on Facebook, or follow @SKGFoodBlog on Instagram and Twitter. To learn more, visit RebekahLingenfelser.com.
Zucchini Walnut Muffins with Citrus Rosemary Glaze
• 1 cup of zucchini, grated
• 1 cup sugar
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil
• 2 large eggs
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
• ½ tsp. cinnamon
• ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
• ¾ tsp. salt
• ½ tsp. baking soda
• ½ tsp. baking powder
• 1 cup walnuts, chopped
For the Glaze:
• 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar
• Freshly squeezed juice of ½ an orange
• 2 tsp. of orange zest
• 1 tbsp. of fresh rosemary, chopped
Place a rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together the zucchini, sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the flour mixture into the zucchini mixture just to combine. Divide the batter evenly into muffin cups and gently drop the muffin pan on the counter to remove any air.
Bake until golden brown, 35 – 40 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine all ingredients for the glaze. Pop the muffins out of the pan and one by one, dip them into the glaze, in a circular motion. Place dipped muffins on a wire rack to cool and set.