Garden Vegetable Breakfast Casserole

 

About this time of year, anyone with a back yard garden is looking for creative ideas to use up the abundance of zucchini, fresh tomatoes and herbs. Here’s a wonderful Saturday morning recipe for breakfast casserole, loaded with color straight from the back yard and a perfect recipe for a brunch. This makes for 12 servings, so cut it down as needed for a smaller family.

  • 1 12oz package of bacon, chopped
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 6 eggs lightly beaten
  • 4 cups frozen hashbrown potatoes, thawed
  • 2 fresh zucchini, grated
  • 1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp Tabasco sauce

In a saute pan, cook the bacon and onion until the onion is tender and the bacon has browned.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the hashbrown potatoes, zucchini and tomatoes and toss well. Add the bacon and onions along with the pan drippings to the potato-vegetable mixture, then mix in the cheeses, Tabasco, beaten eggs and the fresh basil.

Spoon mixture into a 9″x13″ glass baking dish sprayed lightly with PAM. At this point I usually salt and pepper the top of the casserole as well.

Bake in a 350F oven for 35-40 minutes, until casserole has “set” and is just beginning to brown.

Serves 12 but can easily be cut down to 6 or 4 by equally dividing the ingredients.

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Corn & Zucchini Salad

Summer is finally here and for us, that means a lot of time spent at the lake where we dine al fresco on the pier with friends. My normal contribution to the meal is a composed salad of some sort, be it pasta salad, potato salad (check out Bacon Parmesan Potato Salad in the blog archives, redneck caviar (Hoppin’ John Salad in the archives) or homemade salsa. I haven’t made corn and zucchini salad in a couple of summers but now that fresh corn is cheap and plentiful, it will be on a future menu at the lake.

This recipe can be made with raw corn, like many corn salad recipes are, but I like the corn a little more tender and a little less starchy. That’s why I blanch the corn. Canned corn is over-cooked, and while it will work if you need a quick salad for a last minute party, it won’t be as fresh tasting. You can also used grilled corn for a smokier flavored salad (perfect with BBQ), and you can change the whole flavor profile from southwestern to Italian simply by using fresh chopped basil instead of fresh chopped cilantro!

  • 5 ears of fresh corn, shucked
  • 2 cups zucchini chopped into a small dice or quartered lengthwise and then sliced thin
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt or Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (for southwestern style) or chopped basil leaves (for Italian style)
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1/4 tsp minced garlic (or 1 clove)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil on the stovetop and cook the corn for 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain and then immerse the corn into ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Once the corn has cooled enough to handle, cut the kernels from the cob into a large bowl.

Add to the corn, the remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. The longer it marinates in the refrigerator, the better it will taste, so you can make it an hour before eating, or make it the day before.

 

Italian Zucchini Pie

It’s that time of the year when those 1-2 zucchini plants you set out in your home garden are overflowing with vegetables. If you’re like me, you’ve fried squash and zucchini, stuffed some, made some zucchini bread (I’ll share that recipe later), shared some zucchini with friends and you’re looking for new things to try. This recipe was one of my grandmother’s side dishes. I’ve made it a time or two at work and everyone loves it. Even if you don’t have zucchini growing in your yard, run down to Publix and pick some up and give this a try! It’s also a great “brunch” dish because it’s a lot like a quiche.

  • 4 cups thinly sliced zucchini (unpeeled)
  • 1 cup coarse chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 eggs well beaten
  • 8oz shredded Mozzarella cheese (optional)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 8oz can Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard

 

Heat oven to 375F. In a skillet, cook zucchini and onions in butter until tender. Stir in parsley and seasonings and remove from the heat. In a mixing bowl, blend the eggs, mayo, sour cream and cheese, then stir in the sauteed vegetables. Roll out the crescent rolls and line the bottom of a 12×8 baking dish (greased or sprayed with Pam) with the dough. Top dough with Dijon mustard, then pour in the zucchini mixture. Bake uncovered for 18-20 minutes or until center of the casserole has set (to make sure the eggs are cooked).