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it's zucchini time!  RSS feed

 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
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Posts: 1422
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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Yes it is that time of year when all of your friends and neighbors run screaming from you as you approach with mountains of zucchini.

If I don't grow any I wish I had and if I do grow some I always grow more than I will do anything with.

Thank goodness I learned how to like eating zucchini raw. I am just too lazy to do any real preparation.

However... I did just see a neat lasagna recipe where you use grilled zucchini instead of pasta for the noodles. I may try that.

What do all of you do with your zucchini?
 
Peony Jay
Posts: 145
Location: B.C.
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I love doing Zucchini Burgers and/or Portobello Mushroom burgers.
Marinade:
1 part balsamic
3 parts EVOO
Dried rosemary, basil, chopped fresh garlic, S&P to taste.

Cut the zucchini in large diagonal slices. Peel the dryish skin off the Portobellos and cut off the woodsy stem (dry and keep for stock.) Peeling the mushroom with a sharp paring knife helps the marinade sink into the mushroom better. Marinate your Zuke Burgers and Portobello Burgers, like, 1 hour.

Barbeque or hibashi them 'til doneness.
Serve in a bun with lettuce, wasabi mayo, tomato slices,onion, etc, etc.


OR

Fresh, Raw zucchini 'spaghetti' with a raw spaghetti marinara sauce.
Cut the zucchini with a spiral cutter (A Spirelli) or just cut them short and choppy-choppy with a mandoline tool.

Here's a RAW idea. Healthy, fresh, light summer fare.
http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.ca/2010/08/raw-zucchini-pasta-in-vegan-curry-cream.html
 
Peony Jay
Posts: 145
Location: B.C.
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A great way to find a recipe idea for a certain season, or certain fruit or vegetable...
http://smittenkitchen.com/recipes/

And I love the French approach to seasonality and 'good eats.'
http://www.latartinegourmande.com/
 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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As with most vegetables that are already 90% water, I think boiling or steaming is completely WRONG.

About the only way I can eat eggplant (and it should work with zucchini) is to slice them, brush with olive oil, and grill lightly on the BBQ.

If you have too many to eat raw, toss 'em to your chickens. With a 4:1 feed conversion ratio, 4 pounds of zucchini would give you a pound of chicken meat...that would be a good trade in my eyes.

 
P Thickens
Posts: 177
Location: Bay Area, California (z8)
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Zucchini pizza!

Sautee onions and garlic, add maters and oregano. Meat is optional.
Cut zukes into coins. Lay out on foil-covered pan.
Glop sauce onto coins.
Slap mozzarella on top of sauce.
Bake or bbq.

All-in-one dinner... and only one pot to clean... less if you make a big bunch of sauce!
 
Lloyd George
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Mine will start coming off long about tomorrow....

Grate a few cups in of peeled zuchini, and straightneck, or crookneck, stir in some flour, and maybe a bit of milk, and an egg....fry into squash blini...serve with a little dollop of creme fraiche, or sour cream, and a little caviar on top...

I have many neighbors....who will all hate me in a week...I have about eight plants...I will leave a basket on the doorstep, ring the bell and run away...

Nahh..I sell em off at a farmers market, or trade them to the cookie lady for cookies...she makes squash bread...
 
Deb Stephens
Posts: 395
Location: SW Missouri, Zone 7a
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Zucchini makes much better pickles than cucumbers do. The texture is firmer and they have more flavor. I like to make REAL dill pickles with them by layering them with salt and fresh dill in a ceramic crock and allowing them to ferment for a week or so before putting them in jars and sealing. Much better than the psuedo-pickle recipes that use vinegar.

Also, if you have eggplant and tomatoes as well as zucchini, make ratatouille. I could eat that every day and never get tired of it.
 
Austin Max
Posts: 98
Location: South Central Kentucky
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I have used overgrown/extra zucc's and other squash in salsa with great success. They are a great filler, and once they are vinegarized you can't tell the difference between those tender little baby zucc's.
 
Varina Lakewood
Posts: 116
Location: Colorado
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Zucchini (and yellow summer squash) never goes to waste around here. (I grow Grey Zucchini, which has a much tenderer skin even when large than most zucchini. I grew it once accidentally, and was hooked. Now I'd be reluctant to grow any other variety.)
I either cook it into stuff immediately (more like, within 3 weeks of picking it, since it keeps pretty well): generally slice it into a cast iron frying pan with tomatoes and other fresh veggies -whatever's handy- and spices and simmer until it tastes like I want it to, make it into zucchini bread, or make raw zucchini spaghetti with fresh and dried tomatoes blended with herbs to make a raw spaghetti sauce.
Or freeze it for later use in the dead of winter.
Or, even if I grow tons more than I and my family can use, there are always people who will actually ASK me for summer squash. It's the all-time favorite "extra" of my garden. Since I grew up where the common joke was that people would soon dread seeing you show up with zucchini, and you might have to resort to leaving it anonymously on porches, this was a very big surprise when I first encountered it. Recipes I've heard, aka. "Mmn! I'm going to do this with these." vary from zucchini salsa, to baking them whole with a little olive oil, to zucchini brownies.
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
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Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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So many great ideas and most of them I have not tried before.
 
Leila Rich
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A great way to get through quite a bit of zucchini is to saute it in plenty of olive oil and plenty of garlic, add whatever soft herbs you feel like, lots of lemon zest, seasoning and mix through pasta. Rocket, broccoli and parmesan are a few good additions.
Marrows go on the compost, as I have no chickens...
 
Ken Peavey
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Those zukes you find that have grown to the size of your leg...Zuchinni Parmesan. Same idea as the lasagna mentioned by J Gurley.

Slice the zuke about 1/4" thick. Diagonal, straight, long way...cut it any way you like, its your supper.
I sautee the slices only to give them a bit of browning. They will cook fully in the oven. This browning helps to promote sweetness and seal in the juices. The slices tend to stay more firm after baking.
I like to dredge the slices in parmesan cheese, then sautee

Build a 2" deep dish with layers:
Marinara sauce-works well on the bottom to make for easier baking pan clean up
Zuke, yeller squash
Cheese-mozzerella, swiss makes it stretchy!, montery jack works, cheddar not so well
Mushroom
Roasted Peppers. Usually these are so good half of them are eaten before they make it into the dish
Fresh basil leaves, other herbs and greens work, nothing wrong with kale, spinach, mustard, brocolli leaves, how about nettles?
Meats, works well blended with the marinara sauce. Much of the recipe is low in fat so don't be afraid of sausage or pepperoni. Since the dish can be layered deeply, meats should be browned first.
Garlic, because there is no such thing as too much. Try whole cloves of Elephant Garlic.

A top layer of cheese will give it some crispy spots.

Bake for about an hour at 350-400. Start at lower temp, crank it up for the last 15 minutes. You are looking for a bubbly sauce and the cheese browned on top.
When it comes out of the oven, let the dish cool down just a bit. Too hot to eat anyway. This gives the cheese time to set up so when the dish is sliced it not so much of a landslide.
Make enough to ensure ample leftovers. This dish will freeze well for when you lack the motivation to cook.

Serve with garlic bread, fresh homemade pasta, too much pinot noir, and plenty of fellowship.
 
Rion Mather
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Zucchini and Summer Squash are two of my favorite vegetables. This will be the first year that I will be growing them. I can't wait to make Zucchini bread.
 
Ken Peavey
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If its your first attempt at growing zukes, makes sure you plant LOTS of them. You never know what you'll get. It's the only way to truly appreciate unlocked car doors.
 
Rion Mather
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Is 5 plants enough for one person?
 
Ken Peavey
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If I said NO, then I would be truly evil!
In my sorry excuse for soil I get zero to 5 fruit off a plant. After that the plant expires. Your soil will offer different results. You may need to start several plants every few weeks to ensure a constant supply.

Zukes and yeller squash are readily affected by powdery mildew on their leaves. Moisture on the leaves promotes mildew growth. I have learned to water the plants in the early part of the day so the leaves have time to dry before nightfall. If the leaves are wet going into sunset, the leaves will remain moist longer, and the leaves will suffer. Drip or pitcher irrigation does not spray the leaves, giving much better results.

I have canned these squashes. Smaller fruit works better. Large fruit with large seed centers get mushy. The smaller fruit, an inch to 1.5 inch thick will fare much better.
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
pollinator
Posts: 1422
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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Today is a lazy day and I have overindulged on junk food so I am juicing my zukes, cukes, carrots and whatever else is in there. Tastes a bit like medicine but it does make me feel better -- after I get over the taste.
 
John Polk
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If you'd like it to taste a little better, make it into a gazpacho soup.
Perfect warm weather lunch for a gardener.



 
Ken Peavey
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Zucchini Noodles
 
Tim Crowhurst
Posts: 45
Location: Bedford, England: zone 8/AHS 2
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Courgettes (as we call them in Britain) are one of the best vegetables for stir-frying. I normally cut the courgette in half lenthwise, then slice it diagonally into 1/3cm or 1/8" wide strips. That gives you fairly large but thin pieces that cook reasonably quickly. I often do a ratatouille stir-fry, with courgettes, bell peppers, onions/shallots, cherry/cherryplum tomatoes, fresh basil and pine nuts, adding a mixture of tamari and crushed garlic towards the end. It's much quicker than a conventional ratatouille, so it uses up less cooking fuel.
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
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Posts: 1422
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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Ken Peavey wrote:In my sorry excuse for soil I get zero to 5 fruit off a plant. After that the plant expires.
,

Ken, that is good information to know. The only people that I know here in the south that are getting more produce from their squash and cukes are using chemical fungicides. I have started just making succesion plantings as you suggested above.
 
Burra Maluca
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Zucchini omelet for lunch!

We didn't actually grow any ourselves this year, but all the neighbours did so we still have the things coming out of our ears...
 
Cal Edon
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Carol Deppe (author of The Resilient Gardener, among other books) says that certain varieties of zucchini are delicious when dried. And dehydrating seems to result in a distinctly different flavor, too. Some varieties don't lend themselves to this due to strange off-tastes, some are just bland, but the good-tasting varieties are supposedly something special. Deppe makes a winter soup out of dried summer squash.

Even if you're growing a variety that's bland when dried, they make good substitutes for potato chips as vehicles for flavorings or dips.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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