Aug 23 # 1 of 24
Zucchini - also known as summer squash - is a favorite for many. It makes an excellent side dish, goes well fried with onions and garlic as an add-on to sandwiches or sausage, stuffed with any kind of dressing/stuffing as a main dish, can be used in soups, and also baked in cakes, muffins and other desserts!
Since it's late August, you'll find lots of garden fresh zucchini at farm markets and stands.
The little zucchini don't always have to be peeled when preparing as a veggie side dish or used in soups - but the large zucchini usually get peeled.
Mildly flavored, zucchini go with just about everything!
Aug 24 # 2 of 24
Farm markets and stands? Are you kidding? At this time of year the zucchini bandits are out in force, and if you leave your car unlocked overnight you're likely to find a bag of them on the back seat come morning.
Anyway, here's a slightly fancy way of preparing them. BTW, all the summer squashes are interchangeable in recipes:
Summer Squash Timbale
4 cups summer squash, shredded
2 tbls olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped fine
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbls fresh herbs, minced
5 eggs, beaten
2 cups heavy cream
Black pepper to taste
1 cup dry bread crumbs
Parmesan cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 350.
Sprinkle squash generously with salt. Set in colander and let drain 30 minutes. Gather squash and squeeze to release moisture (I use a tea towel and wring it well)
Heat oil in skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and saute until soft. Add garlic and saute one minute longer. Remove from heat and toss with squash. Stir in minced herbs. Add beaten eggs and cream and season to taste.
Butter bottom and sides of six individual ramikins or pudding cups. Dust mods with bread crumbs. Fill with squash mixture.
Transfer to a deep baking pad and add hot water to reach 2/3 up the sides of the molds. Bake, uncovered, about 45 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes. Loosen with a sharp knife and unmold onto platter. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
You can eat these as is or ring the changes on toppings and sauces. I particularly like them with a roasted red pepper coulis spiked up a bit.
Aug 24 # 3 of 24
What to do with runaway zucchini? You know, those squash that hide in the foliage. Today they're as big as your index finger. Tomorrow they've become baseball bats.
Use those large zukes as a pasta substitute. Slice them ultra thin (a mandoline really helps for this), lenghtwise, working from each side towards the middle. Discard the central core and seeds.
Use those slices in lieu of the pasta to make a vegetarian lasagna. Or they can sub for pappardelle in many recipes.
Divide the slices into thin strips, blanch until tender, and top with your favorite pasta sauce. Zucchini linguini is a whole new taste treat.
Oversized zukes also work well in recipes that require shredding. The classic, of course, is zucchini bread. But try zucchini patties as a side dish, or zucchini croquettes.
If you're a home canner, the larger ones can be used to make pickles. There are specific recipes for zucchini pickles. But, in point of fact, you can substitute zucchini for cucumber in virtally any pickle recipe. Try bread & butter pickles made with those oversized cukes.
Aug 24 # 4 of 24
I am looking for a stuffed Zuchinni recipe called Kusa Mkhshi. I believe it is Moroccan in origin, and an old friend of mine used to make it, but never left the recipe with me.
Aug 24 # 5 of 24
A great way to grill zucchini is to marinade it for 1/2 hour in simple Italian salad dressing, then grill for 4-5 minutes being careful not to burn since the dressing has oil in it. This is a real simple delicious side dish.