Zucchini Chocolate Cake

1/4 cup margarine
1/2 cup oil
1 and 3/4 cups white sugar
4 tbsp cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup chocolate chips
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 and 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup sour milk

Mix all ingredients together. Bake for 45 mins-1 hour at 325 F in a 9 x 13 pan.

Spanish-style Grilled Zucchini (serves 4)

2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium zucchini (12 ounces), cut diagonally into 1/4 inch thick slices
2 tbsp Spanish-style Garlic and Parsley-Flavoured Olive Oil (see below)
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
salt to taste

Set a cast-iron griddle or cast-iron frying pan over high heat.  Let it get hot.  Dribble just enough olive oil, about 1 tbsp, to grease it lightly. When the oil is very hot, a matter of seconds, lay down enough zucchini slices to cover the bottom in a single layer.  Do not overcrowd. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until the bottoms of the slices turn a rich medium brown.  You may need to move the slices around so they all cook evenly. Turn slices over and cook for another 2 minutes, or until the second side turns medium brown. Remove the slices from the pan and arrange them in a single layer on a large platter. Cook all the zucchini slices this way.  With each batch, remember to add enough oil to keep the pan lightly greased. When the zucchini are all cooked, lightly sprinkle salt over all the slices.  Dribble the flavoured oil evenly over the top, sprinkle on the parsley and serve.

Serve on its own, or with chunky, toasted bread.  We toasted some artisan kalamata olive bread from Safeway, drizzled the bread with the flavoured oil and then topped it with this zucchini and some cheese.  Or, also add grilled portabellas and some homemade tomato basil sauce.  Serve as is, or broil to melt the cheese.  Lots of options!

Spanish-style Garlic and Parsley-Flavoured Olive Oil  (makes 1 cup)

1 cup olive oil
5 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley

Put the oil and garlic in a small pot and set over medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for just 5 seconds, then immediately turn off the heat Let the oil cool for 15 minutes, then stir in the salt and parsley The oil is ready to use, or it may be transferred to a jar and refrigerated for 3 to 4 days.  Bring it to room temperature before using.

Other ideas for this flavoured oil:
•    dress slices of summer tomatoes with it
•    dribble over any grilled vegetables (grilled portabellas – yum)
•    put it on bread
•    drizzle over romaine lettuce