If there is one thing you can count on during the summer, it's zucchini, and plenty of it!
These cheesy little zucchini bites are a great way to put all that zucchini to use. They're like tater tots, but made with zucchini, in a mini muffin pan. They're sort of a riff off our broccoli cheddar bites, and like their broccoli cousins, are perfect for breakfast, a quick snack, or a school lunch.
A touch of rosemary with some lemon zest with cheddar cheese and Parmesan work great with the zucchini. The lemon and rosemary are just enough to make these bites interesting, but not so much as to overwhelm.
The trick to this recipe, as with so many recipes that use shredded zucchini, is to first salt the zucchini and let the excess water drain. That's the best way to avoid a mushy mess when you bake it.
You can make them ahead, freeze them, and just reheat in a toaster oven or microwave. They're rather addictive, so freezing them is my strategy to keep from eating them all in one go!
Cheesy Zucchini Bites
- 2 pounds of zucchini, grated (large holes of a box grater)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup diced fresh bread (without crust)
- 1/2 cup minced green onions (including green parts)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced, about 2 teaspoons
- 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
- 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons of olive oil to coat mini muffin tins
Salt and drain the zucchini
Toss the grated zucchini with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and place in a colander to drain (in a sink or over a bowl). Let drain for 30 minutes to an hour.
After at least 30 minutes, use your (clean) hands to press and squeeze the grated zucchini against the colander to release more moisture.
Then use double layered sturdy paper towels or a clean tea towel to wrap up the zucchini and squeeze out even more moisture.
Whisk together the mayo and eggs, then whisk in the bread, green onions, garlic, zest, rosemary, cheeses, pepper
While the zucchini is draining in step 1, whisk together in a large bowl the mayonnaise and eggs until smooth.
Then add the bread, green onions, garlic, lemon zest, rosemary, grated cheddar, Parmesan, and black pepper. Let that sit while the zucchini is draining so that the bread breaks down in the mixture.
Prepare pans, preheat oven
Grease the wells of 2 mini-muffin tins with olive oil. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Stir zucchini into batter, spoon into mini-muffin tins
Stir the drained, squeezed zucchini into the egg mixture until evenly distributed. Spoon the mixture into the wells of the mini-muffin tins, about a heaping tablespoon each.
Bake for 25 minutes at 350°F
Cool and release zucchini bites from pan
Let cool for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the zucchini bites to loosen them from the pan. Remove from the pan to a rack to cool further.
Eat warm or cool to room temp, then chill or freeze to reheat later.