- Are you growing zucchini in your garden?
- Are your plants… prolific?
- Do your neighbors hide when they see you coming?
- Do you sneak over at midnight to leave it on their porch?
You might be showing signs of zucchini overabundance! Luckily for you, I have some suggestions for dealing with an onslaught of squash. (And if you don’t have too many zucchinis, check out my post on squash pollination.)
If you’re going to use up zucchini, you have to prepare it in appetizing ways. No one wants to stare at a mess of soggy, overcooked squash day after day after day. For best results, vary your recipes enough that no one notices the main ingredient stays the same. Here are some suggestions to get you started…
Our family favorite is to caramelize some sliced onions in a tablespoon or two of olive oil, add some minced garlic, then add sliced squash and stir-fry until the squash is just beginning to get tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper, top with chopped parsley and grated Parmesan cheese. Cover a moment to allow the cheese to melt, then scoop it onto plates, cheese side up.
Another recipe that is met with enthusiasm is zucchini (or any summer squash) soup. It starts the same way—soften onions in a little bit of olive oil, add garlic and cook to soften that too. Then add a pile of grated squash and just enough chicken broth to cover. (You can also use vegetable broth.) If you like a thicker soup, include some diced potatoes. And if you used yellow squash, add some sliced carrots as well. (Adding orange carrots to green zucchini results in a somewhat dubious brown colored mush.)
Simmer, covered, until all the vegetables are softened, then cool enough to puree in a blender or force through a sieve. You can serve the soup as is or add a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt for a creamier option. We like ours served with some croutons floating on top and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese.
Still have more zucchini? Try using it in a Chinese stir-fry along with cubed chicken, chopped onions and sliced carrots. Finish with a cooking sauce that includes a cup of chicken broth, a half-teaspoon each of fresh grated ginger and pressed garlic, a tablespoon of dry sherry, and two tablespoons of Hoisin sauce. Thicken with a teaspoon of cornstarch in a half cup of water.
I haven’t even mentioned baked goods such as zucchini bread, chocolate zucchini cake (moist!), or zucchini muffins. Then there’s curried zucchini, stuffed zucchini, and even zucchini pancakes (sweet or savory). In fact, there are enough recipes that I’m thinking of planting even more squash next year!