Summer Slaw With Poppy Seed-Mustard Dressing

6 to 8 servings

Strips of raw zucchini star in this summery salad with carrot, red bell pepper, red onion and jalapeno chili pepper. Choose zucchini that are small, delicate and tender. The simple dressing will perform well on many other raw vegetables. For added flavor, substitute extra-virgin olive oil for the canola oil. If you have fresh mint on hand, add a few handfuls of leaves to the salad just before serving.

Adapted from "Entertaining for a Veggie Planet," by Didi Emmons (Houghton Mifflin, 2003).

For the dressing:

21/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon honey or 1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard

1 clove garlic

1/3 cup canola oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons poppy seeds

For the slaw:

2 or 3 small zucchini (about 12 ounces)

1 large carrot, peeled and grated

1 small red bell pepper, cut into matchsticks

1 small red onion, finely chopped

1 jalapeno chili pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing: In a food processor, combine the vinegar, honey or sugar, mustard and garlic and process until smooth. With the machine running, slowly add the canola oil through the feed tube, processing until incorporated. Add the salt and the poppy seeds.

For the slaw: Cut zucchini into quarters, lengthwise. Trim and discard the seeded core along each quarter, then cut each quarter into very thin (julienne) strips.

In a large bowl, toss together the zucchini, carrot, bell pepper, onion and jalapeno pepper and mix well. Gradually add just enough dressing to ensure the slaw is well coated but not soupy. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature or chill the slaw, but serve within 6 hours so the zucchini doesn't release too much water into the dressing.

Per serving: 111 calories, 1 g protein, 7 g carbohydrates, 9 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 g saturated fat, 161 mg sodium, 1 g dietary fiber

Recipe tested by Candy Sagon; e-mail questions to

Zucchini Cheese Squares

6 to 8 servings

The texture of these squares is softer than a bread and denser than a souffle, and the onions do stay crunchy. The squares make good picnic food or a side dish.

Adapted from "The Garden Fresh Vegetable Book," by Andrea Chesman (Storey, 2005).

3 cups grated zucchini (4 small or 3 medium-size zucchini)

11/2 to 2 teaspoons salt

11/2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

3/4 to 1 medium onion, diced

2 cups grated cheddar cheese

2 teaspoons thyme leaves

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or lemon pepper

1/2 cup canola oil

3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 7-by-11-inch baking dish with butter and line the bottom with parchment paper, if desired.

In a colander set over a bowl or in a sink, combine the zucchini and salt and toss to mix. Set aside to drain for 30 minutes. Squeeze out the excess water. (For a faster method, place the grated zucchini in a small salad spinner and let stand for 5 minutes, then pump to extract the excess moisture.)

In a medium bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Add the zucchini, onion to taste, cheese, thyme and pepper. Mix well with a fork, breaking up any clumps of zucchini.

In a small bowl, whisk the oil and eggs. Pour into the zucchini mixture and mix well, which will further break up any remaining clumps of zucchini. Transfer mixture to the baking dish. Bake for 35 minutes, or until golden. Let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then cut into squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Per serving (based on 8): 367 calories, 13 g protein, 23 g carbohydrates, 25 g fat, 109 mg cholesterol, 8 g saturated fat, 821 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber

Recipe tested by Bonnie S. Benwick; e-mail questions to

Flora's Famous Zucchini Cake

8 servings

Cookbook author and British food star Nigella Lawson was given this family recipe by Flora Woods of London's "Books for Cooks" shop. What sets it apart is using lemon or lime curd (store-bought is fine) as a filling. The cake is topped off with a cream cheese frosting that's been given a citrusy zing from lime or lime juice.

Adapted from "How to Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking," by Nigella Lawson (Hyperion, 2001).

For the cake:

1/4 cup raisins, optional

12 ounces zucchini (2 to 3 small zucchini, ends trimmed)

2 large eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

11/2 cups self-rising flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

For the filling and frosting:

6 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

3 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice, or to taste

10-ounce jar of lemon or lime curd*

2 to 3 tablespoons chopped pistachio nuts, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment or wax paper.

For the cake: If using raisins, put them in a bowl and cover with warm water to plump them, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Wash and pat dry the zucchini, but do not peel. Grate on the coarse side of an ordinary box grater; anything too fine or too quick can turn them to mush. Place grated zucchini in a sieve over the sink to drain.

In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, oil and sugar and beat until creamy. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and baking powder. Add to the egg mixture; beat until well combined. Stir in the grated zucchini and add the drained raisins. Pour the mixture into the prepared pans, and bake for 30 minutes until slightly browned and firm to the touch. Place the pans on a rack to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then turn out and let cool on the rack.

For the filling and frosting: In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth; add the confectioners' sugar, beating well to combine, then stir in the lemon or lime juice to desired taste and consistency.

To assemble the cake, carefully peel off parchment or wax paper from the layers. Place one layer on a plate and spread lemon or lime curd on it. Put on the top layer and smear it thickly with the cream cheese frosting. If you think the frosting needs to be firmer, refrigerate the cake for a while. Just before serving, scatter chopped pistachios over the top.

*NOTE: Lemon or lime curd is available in most supermarkets, with the jellies and jams.

Per serving: 614 calories, 6 g protein, 89 g carbohydrates, 26 g fat, 76 mg cholesterol, 6 g saturated fat, 545 mg sodium, 4 g dietary fiber

Recipe tested by Candy Sagon; e-mail questions to