Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Zucchini, Zucchini, Zucchini, Oh My!

Zucchini bats in the wild
Zucchini bats in their natural habitat.
Like anyone who's grown zucchini, we have the periodic problem of that sneaky squash that decides to hide just so until it's grown to mammoth proportions. Then you have the baseball-bat of zucchini.

We have a tiny square foot garden, which is probably good because it means we can routinely kill fewer plants that way. We get great intentions each spring, but for the last couple of years, we have had a combination of busy, procrastinating and excessive heat that's gotten the best of a large chunk of our produce. We do great with basil because we grow it in pots at the front porch, where we pass it all the time. It's easy as you're going in and out to pluck off a flower or two or give it a drink, so it tends to thrive (yay, pesto!). But the rest of the garden is in the backyard, where we don't really spend time, so it too often gets left on its own. This year the rosemary, mint, parsley, chard and zucchini are still doing well back there, so I'm satisfied.

So back to the zucchini bats. I've been coming up with ways to use all our zucchini and I'm loving zucchini season! Here are a few of my favorite zucchini recipes. Please share any of your favorite zucchini recipes in the comments...we have more zucchs to come still! Hopefully I'll catch more of them before they become monstrous.

Zucchini Quiche from Taste of Home. I made this with vidalia onions and the sweetness was just perfect! I wouldn't have thought of the mustard in the shell and was suspicious of the lack of milk or cream. However, the texture turned out just right. I guess all the zucchini's moisture took care of it.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread from Allrecipes. I made this into muffins (bake for 20 minutes). They were perfect for breakfast, snacks and dessert. I made half the batch without the cocoa and chips, then stirred those in so we got both regular and chocolate muffins. Both rocked, but all of us loved the chocolate.

Roasted Zucchini. Cut zucchini into thick batons like fries. toss with olive oil and seasonings (salt and pepper are great, rosemary is awesome, parmesan, etc.) and roast on a cookie sheet at 375 degrees until you start getting some browning. Great side dish that brings out wonderful flavor from the veggies.

Zucchini Tots. I can't begin to tell you how much I love these. This is one of those recipes that really tests my willpower. If I don't put leftovers away as soon as I serve our plates, I'll be going back again and again, grabbing another each time I pass the pan. These make wonderful kid food, too! I love these as a side dish to our Sloppy Lentils (vegetarian sloppy joes, a great crockpot recipe packed with protein).

Sauteed Zucchini. Saute sliced zucchini, rosemary, salt and pepper in olive oil or butter over medium heat.

This week I'll be trying Zoodles (zucchini "noodles") for the first time, too. I think they'll go great with some fish. They look like fun and are healthy, too!

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