Let's not let any zucchini grow to baseball bat size. Or watermelon size. Or small child size. Let's stay on top of this prolific vegetable, putting it to good use and stopping short of loathing them. I'm going to offer a few tactics and then I want to hear yours.
1) Pick your zucchini on the small side. We need to heed our own advice on this one. If you do, you'll avoid largely seedy zucchinis that you end up scooping the center out of anyway. You won't be as overwhelmed by them if you keep them from turning into behemoths. Unless you want behemoths, of course.
2) Incorporate them into everything you eat. Make suppers with zucchini, muffins, cookies, rolls, whatever you can think of. Think of the fiber. Who can say anything bad about fiber? I'll post my favorite zucchini recipes as I make them. One from the other night was a hit (see below).
3) Freeze zucchini for later use. Many folks are familiar with shredding and freezing zucchini for use in bread, rolls, soups, etc. But, did you know you can also freeze them in chunks? No blanching or special treatment required. Just chop them up (after cutting off the ends) into bite size pieces and throw them into freezer bags. They are perfect for casseroles like this one and soups like this one.
4) A good friend once told us, "It's okay to compost zucchini." Did you hear me? If you've come to your wit's end...if you cause your neighbors to high-tail it in the opposite direction when they see you carrying a green (or yellow) beast...if you begin to cry at the sight of another one, just throw it in the compost. I said it's okay. Okay?
When it comes to zucchini, we can use all the options we can get. What do you do with zucchini?
Penne with Zucchini and Feta (adapted from Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2003)
A light, tasty meal that can be served hot, warm or room temperature. It was a hit with our kids as well as us. This recipe does not call for salt. If your chicken or vegetable broth is not sufficiently seasoned, you will need to add salt to taste.
12-16 oz. penne (or other short pasta)
2 tbsp. oil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
3 medium zucchini, sliced into short spears about the same size as the penne
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
4 ounces feta cheese
Cook the pasta according to directions, drain and transfer to a large serving bowl. While the pasta is cooking, saute garlic, zucchini and oregano for about 5 minutes over medium high heat. Add broth, lemon juice and black pepper. Cover and cook over medium heat until the zucchini is tender. Pour mixture over drained pasta, add feta and toss. Serve immediately. Pin It