Friday, July 12, 2013

Getting Creative With Zucchini

The zucchini glut continues and with little else coming from the garden at the moment I'm serving it frequently but trying to get creative with my concoctions. There are just so many times that I can put a zucchini side dish in front of my husband. Last night I cut it into quarters lengthwise, tossed it with olive oil and salt, and roasted it in a 400ºF oven for about 20 minutes until it was blistered with brown spots and tender, and then tossed it with some of the lemony basil pesto that I made last week. But I could sense a certain zucchini weariness emanating from my husband. He ate it, proclaiming the pesto to be really tasty, but I think he would have preferred to have it slathered on pasta instead of zucchini. Zucchini again???

I feel another batch of Zucchini Gazpacho is coming in the near future, the man is still singing its praises. Next time I'm going to tinker with the recipe again, try pepitas instead of almonds. But that dish got me thinking, what if I omitted the water from the recipe and turned it into a dip. Then that thought led me down another path, make it a dip but change the seasonings to what I would use in hummus, and thus was born Zucchini Hummus (click on the link to go to the recipe).

I think it's pretty darn tasty but I still have to pass it by my chief critic. I'm going to try the "taste it and tell me what it is" test again. I fooled him with the gazpacho, but I'm not sure he will be tricked again, his zucchini antennae are very sensitive right now.

Another zucchini dish that I tried this week is a recipe that I cannot claim to be my own, although I did make changes for what I had on hand - Zucchini Saltimboca. You can find that on the Food and Wine Magazine website. It's very clever, you take long slices of zucchini and sandwich them with some prosciutto (I used speck) and fontina (I used manchego) and fresh sage leaves. Dip the sandwiches in beaten egg and then dredge it in flour (I used whole wheat), then pan fry the slices in olive oil until browned and serve with some fried sage leaves. That was dinner along with a romaine lettuce, peach, and toasted almond salad with my favorite lemon-mustard-honey vinaigrette.

And the man has repeatedly requested, and one night even thought he was getting, his favorite zucchini gratin. I will make that for him this week so stay tuned...

Just how much of a glut have I been dealing with? I've harvested 14 pounds so far this month. About 18 pounds in June and 1.5 pounds in May. So, that's more than 33 pounds in a little more than 7 weeks. From 2 plants!

So, how do you get creative with a zucchini glut?


  1. Interesting! I had someone tell me this week to try zucchini apple pie. Sounds interesting too, I may have to look that up. It's challenging to find things to do with this almost daily and make it different!

  2. Very creative and delicious, like to try that saltimbocca and your zuchinni gazpacho later when I get my zuke harvest in. My zuchinni flowers are ready for transplant, I have 3, um... maybe too many, will find out.

  3. Are you a pickle fan? I made bread and butter pickles with zucchini one year and it was great! You wouldn't think so, but they had great crunch and snap

  4. You are getting an amazing amount of zucchini! We just started harvesting zucchini in July, and have only gotten eight pounds. So far the zucchini have gone into different stir fries and curried noodle dishes, or were traded away.

  5. Zucchini glut? There is such a thing? Not around here! I've only managed to harvest one so far out of eight plants. I do not do well with zucchini to my everlasting shame!

  6. The saltimboca sounds fab I will have to remember it for next season. Melbourne's climate is similarly suited to zucchini (as a result I only ever plant one plant...) and when it all gets too much I resort to cake. Not very exciting but at least I avoid the guilt of putting it on the compost heap.

  7. I canned Mock Pineapple from my hoard of oversized zucchinis today. It tasted pretty good, but to me it was more like diced pears in pineapple juice. I think it might make a delightful "pear" crisp! Most years I make sweet relish from them, but I have so many jars left from 2012, it may be a lifetime supply.

  8. The surplus zucchini gets shredded for delicious chocolate zucchini cake (uses 2-3 cups). Then, I shred and freeze the leftovers for cake all winter long. I have not done it yet, but I plan on using the frozen shredded zucchini for soup all winter long too. All my plants died from the squash bugs--wish I had some zucchini!



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