There is no such thing as too much zucchini￼ | the dakotan
August 1, 2022
The joke is “Keep your car windows closed in the summer or someone will put a handful of zucchini in your car.”
But the truth is that there is no such thing as an excess of zucchini. Honestly, there are so many amazing ways to use zucchini, why would you want to gift this amazing and productive vegetable?
Zucchini is the king of the summer squash family. Summer squashes are smooth-skinned, tender-fleshed, and ripen quickly. They have a shorter storage life than winter squash. There are so many pretty varieties to choose from: yellow, bright green, dark green, and striped.
Add to that all the zucchini cousins, other types of summer squash. You are probably already familiar with the crookneck squash. Closely related to the zucchini, it can be yellow or half yellow and half green. You can have smooth skin or bumpy skin and warts.
Patty pan is a pretty yellow summer squash that looks like an alien spaceship. The flesh is firmer and sweeter than zucchini. The firmer flesh makes it a tasty addition to soups and stews.
The Zephyr squash is light green on the bottom and yellow on top. The flesh is firm like hamburger patty, but since it’s a regular oblong shape, it’s much easier to peel and slice.
Cousa, butternut squash and Ronde de Nice are three round varieties of summer squash that are similar to courgettes. Its flavor tends to be sweeter and the flesh is a bit firmer than zucchini. Breeders have crossed these traditional varieties with squash to produce round squash hybrids, with Crazy Eight Ball being the most popular.
How are you going to choose which variety to plant? That is an impossible decision, like choosing who is your favorite child. So, plant at least two varieties. You will not regret.
Zucchini are best picked when they are small, about the size of a cucumber. Cut and sauté with onion and a little garlic and top with a little cheese. That’s my husband’s favorite way to eat zucchini and it only takes a few minutes to prepare. Or brush with garlic-infused olive oil, sprinkle with a little salt, and grill. Hmm!
But don’t stop there. Our family’s favorite zucchini dish is Zucchini Supreme. Serve this dish with a plate full of sliced tomatoes and you have the best summer meal imaginable. Zucchini Fiesta Casserole is similar to Zucchini Supreme but with a Tex-Mex flavor. Or dip zucchini slices in a beaten egg, roll in seasoned breadcrumbs and fry.
Try the Zucchini Fritata, Zucchini Fritters, and of course, who doesn’t love Chocolate Zucchini Pie, Zucchini Bread, and Zucchini Cookies?
Invest in a spiralizer to make zucchini noodles quickly and easily. A spiralizer is inexpensive and gives you an endless supply of healthy veggie noodles. Zucchini noodles are delicious mixed with a little pesto.
Round zucchini are perfect for individual servings of stuffed zucchini. Simply cut in half, scoop out the seeds, and fill the cavity with your favorite filling.
Yeah, but what do you do with those giant zucchini? You know, the one that hides under the leaves and is now the size of a three-month-old baby.
Well, I have discovered the best recipe to put those jumbo zucchini to good use: zucchini gummies. These little treats are so delicious, no one will ever suspect they’re made from a vegetable, let alone the humble and unfairly maligned zucchini. They are incredibly easy to make. Spend half an hour preparing these delicious treasures, put them in your dehydrator tonight, and wake up to a delicious treat tomorrow morning. You will find it difficult to keep them during the winter, children will love them very much.
Preserves the quality of the zucchini for later
There are other ways to preserve the goodness of zucchini for later in the year besides zucchini gummies. One of my favorites is dried zucchini chips. Another is to make Faux Pineapple by canning zucchini pieces in pineapple juice. Remember, zucchini is the tofu of the plant world. The zucchini absorbs the flavor of the pineapple juice and will taste just like pineapple.
And last but not least, freeze your zucchini. Slice or coat for use in soups and stews. Grate and freeze in 2- to 3-cup portions to use in cookies, bread, or cakes. Spiralize it and freeze it to make veggie noodles later.
You will be hard pressed to find a vegetable as prolific and versatile as zucchini. Then go! Plant some in your garden. And leave your car windows open.