Zucchini Appetizers, A Most Unusual Snack

I’ll bet you once had a childhood.  And during that time you probably did some snacking.  And I’d wager you likely have a few foods that you haven’t eaten in a good fifteen or twenty years, but if you saw them today, for a moment, you might forget all the nasty bits of growing up.

Maybe it’s those twin popsicles—the kind with the double sticks that came in a big translucent bag clearly boasting the flavors it held.  

Or maybe your pick is a bit more unusual, like boxed pistachio pudding, in which case, you were probably a strange little child, and we would likely get along very nicely. 

My sister was a pigs-in-a-blanket fiend.  In her presence, party trays would leave the kitchen half demolished. While I, on the other hand, stalked the chips and dip bowl. 

I would settle on a nearby couch and not leave until the French onion dip was taken down.  Unless a little something my mother called “zucchini appetizers” was prepared. 

These were admittedly an odd snack caught somewhere between a crustless quiche and a bouncy bread pudding, of a savory sort.  I loved to eat them cold and to this day, they still taste a little like summer.  If summer could be mixed with Bisquick®, and cubed.

You can probably see where this is going. 

I was thumbing through my mother’s recipe book awhile back and came across these square zucchini snacks of hers.  Though ten-year-old Emily was thrilled, the Bisquick presented a challenge.  These days I’m a little morally squeamish towards premade pancake mix, so I had to indulge my very adult snobbery and find a proper substitute. 

Luckily, the Internet is brimming with do-it-yourself Bisquick people.  And after a few trials, I had pretty much replicated the appetizers.  More or less.  I decreased the garlic, because it gives thirty-year-old Emily dyspepsia.  And added basil because I believe basil can be added to pretty much anything.  And just did what I was told on the instructions:

Mix all ingredients.  Spread in a greased casserole. Bake until slightly golden on top.  Cut into bite-sized squares.  Serve hot or cold.

I only ever remember ever eating them cold.  And bite-sized by the handful.

Mom's Zucchini Appetizers


1 cup all-purpose flour
1½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
4 eggs
½ cup olive oil
1 whole scallion, minced
1 small garlic clove, finely minced
½ cup grated pecorino cheese
3½ cups grated zucchini (about 3 small zucchini)
1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
pinch of red pepper flakes
a few turns of fresh black pepper


Set the oven at 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.  In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs and then add in the remaining ingredients and stir to combine; mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined.

Butter a casserole dish (I used a 10 x 7).  Pour the mixture into the prepared dish and bake until the eggs have fully set and the top is golden brown, about 30-40 minutes (my oven takes a little longer, so I’d start checking around the 30 minute mark).

Makes about 12 bite-sized squares, or 6 as part of a meal

-The 1 cup of Bisquick® originally called for in this recipe roughly translates to 1 cup of flour plus 1½ tsp of baking powder, ¼ cup of oil, and ½ tsp salt.

-I used small zucchini the length of a pencil.  It is said they have more flavor than the big guys.

-This also makes a very wonderful savory breakfast (particularly if you were a slightly odd child).

-Aside: I happened to look at the ingredients in the French onion dip: there’s MSG in there.  Things make even more sense now.


  1. Sounds oddly delicious - a mix between crustless quiche and bouncy bread pudding. I don't know if my child-self would have been willing to try, but I know my adult-self is all over it! As usual, love the writing.

  2. I have terrible snacking habits. I'm always, always snacking. (Probably a childhood habit.) And I never seem to get around to making snacks, so it's always something from the store. I'm pretty sure that half of my expenses at the grocery store have something to do with snacks and gelato. Awful. Anyway, this is just to say that I'm thrilled at the prospect of a zucchini snack! I don't have any zucchini in the garden, so this will have to wait until Saturday's market. But I'm sure that I'll eat these by the handful too!

  3. Ashley- it IS oddly delicious. I hope I am not simply remembering my childhood when I eat these snacks and that they really are as delicious for others as they are for me. As always, thank you for your compliment about the writing!

    Katie-Aint nothing wrong with a gelato snack. ;) Still jealous of your garden! Have been enjoying watching your garlic "grow!"

  4. I love the food from my childhood! I ate some weird snacks growing up. too, and a lot of things drenched in condensed milk!