What to do with all those extra zucchini?


Submitted a year ago
Created by
eloquine@gmail.com

5 easy zucchini recipes

Zucchini is my favorite vegetable to grow. The plants yield plenty of zucchini throughout the whole summer, with little supervision. I haven’t had great success canning them and prefer to eat them immediately as they become ripe. I have frozen them in the past when we still had a freezer chest but ended up just tossing them to the chickens because the crisp flesh turned mushy.

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When you google “what to do with zucchini”, the first 5000 results are dedicated to the famous zucchini bread, with notes at the end suggesting making 20 and freezing them. If you are really into zucchini breads, that’s great. I’d rather eat the squash fresh throughout the summer than hide them in loaves of bread or unhealthy cakes.

One of the main reasons I grow veggies is for the health benefits but also for the savings. So when I look into using my vegetables into recipes, I am not looking for recipes that only use one item I have at home, mixed with specialty ingredients I need to buy specifically for this one recipe. I also grow veggies to enjoy them, so hiding them in a recipe is not my first thought.

Here are some ideas to add to your recipe box, for those summer days when your zucchini plants are in full production mode, or when your neighbor keeps dropping them off in your unlocked car. They all take less than a half hour from start to finish. (All recipes serve about 4 people)

(Note: you will notice that none of these recipes use the oven. As mentioned in a previous post, we only cook with a woodstove, so my recipes need to take less than 30 minutes to cook because I use a little propane stove, and I cannot rely on an oven.)

Recipes:
Ratatouille

This is a great recipe; it is versatile and can be adjusted to the amount of ingredients you have on hand. All the vegetables used are also ripe at the same time in the garden, making it a very cheap meal. It can be served hot with rice and is a great leftover food (the herbs intensify in flavor overnight).

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Ingredients:

  • A few tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • Garlic, minced (I used a whole head of garlic, but use as much as you want)
  • 2-3 summer squashes, sliced or diced
  • 1 eggplant, sliced or diced
  • 3-4 fresh tomatoes, sliced or diced
  • A few sprigs of thyme and rosemary, finely chopped OR a few leaves of basil and parsley. You can also use dry herbs, but I tend to have a mix of fresh herbs in the garden
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, cook the onion over low heat until the onion is softened. Add garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the eggplant, zucchini, and tomatoes and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally. Cook for a good 15-20 minutes over low heat (more if you want your veggies to be mushy, I prefer them to be a bit crisp and still visible in my stew). Add the herbs mixture you choose, salt and pepper to taste, and cook for another minute. Serve with rice, couscous, or pasta.

Zucchini pancakes

IMG_6912.JPGIngredients:

  • 4 egg
  • 8 tbsp flour
  • 8 tsp milk
  • 1 zucchini diced in very small cubes or sliced very thin
  • ¼ cup Feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
  • 2 tomatoes sliced thin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Mix together the flour, eggs, and milk. Add the sliced zucchini, feta (optional), mix well. Heat a saute pan, and cook (low heat) the pancakes about 2 minutes on each side, until browned. Serve warm with a few slices of tomato on top.

Zucchini with Feta and Swiss Chard

swiss chardIngredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced very thin
  • A few cups of chopped swiss chard (works with kale or spinach if that is what you are growing)
  • 2-3 zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • Thyme, oregano, parsley, or basil (again, depends on what you are growing
  • ¼ cup Feta cheese, crumbled

In a large skillet, cook the onion in olive oil over low heat until the onion is softened. Add the garlic and zucchini and cook for another 5 minutes. Add swiss chard, salt and pepper to taste, and herbs and saute for 2-3 minutes.

Serve hot, top with feta.

Can’t-fail Rice
Ingredients:

  • 1 + ¾ cups of rice
  • 3 + ¾ cups water
  • Olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1-2 zucchini, diced (or any other combination of vegetables. Works great with carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.)

Instructions: In a large skillet, cook the onion over low heat until the onion is softened. Add the zucchini, and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the water, increase to high heat and bring to a boil. Add the salt and the rice, cover, and bring down to low heat. Cook for exactly 20 minutes (don’t open the lid!). Serve hot as a side dish.

Fried Zucchini

I have been craving fried chickens in my third trimester of pregnancy. Living 45 minutes away from any fast-food place or restaurants, I am forced to satisfy my cravings with whatever is growing in the garden. I have been eating a lot of fried zucchini instead of chicken, and it is almost as satisfying. Almost.

friedzucchinis.jpg

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup oil (vegetable or olive)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 zucchini, sliced about ½ inch thick

Coat each slice by dipping them first in the flour, then eggs, then pressing them on both sides in the breadcrumbs.

Heat oil in a large skillet over low heat. Pan fry zucchini until crust browns about 2 minutes on each side. Season with salt and pepper, serve immediately.  

What are YOUR go-to recipes for keeping up with your s plants?

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