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What Do We Do With All This Zucchini?

Zucchini (or courgette) is a summer squash that can reach nearly a meter in length, but which is usually harvested much smaller. It is actually a fruit, although it is thought of and prepared like a veggie. It has a mild taste, is low in calories, and is a source of folate, potassium, and Vitamin A. It grows prolifically. In fact, novice gardeners often plant too many and end up letting them get too large, or even rot in the garden because they - and their friends and neighbors - just can't keep up.

Fortunately, zucchini is adaptable to many recipes and we'ved been know to include it in bread, brownies, soups, pancakes, fritters, stews, and even cakes.It can also be grated, some of its moisture drained out, and used in salads or in tacos and wraps. Most ethic cookbooks will have at least one traditional dish that uses zucchini. One elegant and simple way to use it is to simply peel it with a vegetable peeler and use instead of pasta, in a salad, or spread with cream cheese and rolled.

Here are some other simple, fast recipes to prevent those anonymous middle-of-the-night trips around the neighborhood leaving excess zucchini squashes on people’s doorsteps.

Zucchini & Bean Saladzucchini recipes

2 cups white kidney beans, cooked
1 cup zucchini, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
½tbsp nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
1 tsp dried lemon balm

Mix all ingredients together in a serving bowl and serve. Serves 2 but can easily be doubled.

 

Zucchini & Yogurt Dip

1 medium fresh zucchini
½ cup plain yogurt
2 cloves garlic, pressed
¼ cup tahini
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Bake zucchini until soft. Peel and mash with a fork (blend if necessary). Add remaining ingredients except parsley, and mix thoroughly. Chill. Decorate with parsley before serving. Makes 2 cups of dip for fresh vegetables, or warmed up as a sauce over pasta.

Zucchini Fritters

2½ cups zucchini, grated
¼ onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, pressed
1½ cups whole wheat flour
2 eggs
1 tbsp oil (to grease the pan)
nutritional yeast to taste (optional)
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Mix together all ingredients. Heat an oiled iron skillet. Use a tablespoon to scoop batter into pan. Cook over medium heat until the fritter is brown on the bottom. Flip, and cook briefly on the second side. Makes about 20 fritters. Great with fish and a green salad.

 

Zucchini Tomato Sauce

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried rosemary
8 medium tomatoes, chopped
½ green pepper, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped

In a medium saucepan, gently sauté onion and herbs in oil until onion is slightly brown. Add tomatoes. Gently bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cook until tomatoes have softened, and juice begins to form. Add other veggies and garlic. Cook until desired consistency is achieved.

Expand the recipe and make the sauce in large batches and freeze it in small portions to use over the winter.

Other ingredients like mushrooms, broccoli, carrots and hot peppers can also be added. If you’re not freezing the sauce, use whatever else is left over in the refrigerator, such as chick peas.

 

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