Oh no! Zucchini again!
I was only gone for 10 days, but when I came back the squash plants were just packed with zucchini — some that were as big as torpedoes (they got fed to the chickens) but many just the perfect size for harvest. However, what do you do with 50 zucchini? First stop, my neighbors. Got rid of 10 there.
Next, as 4th of July guests leave, they get a bag to take home; another 10 down . . . only 30 more squash to use or distribute. What can you do?
Well, there are lots of ways to eat zucchini but I have found a couple of ways that are just yummy and healthy.
The first recipe is easy.
Zucchini and mozarella salad/appetizer
Slice the zucchini in lengthwise ¼ inch thick strips, drizzle with a little olive oil and grill on each side for a few minutes. Place the strips in a bowl with a little salt and pepper and a little more olive oil to cool. Then artfully place slices of fresh mozzarella cheese on plate along with the rolled up grilled zucchini strips, a handful of halved sun gold cherry tomatoes, fresh chopped basil, and a final little drizzle of olive oil. Makes a beautiful presentation and uses about 4 zucchini.
Only 26 left to use . . . .
Zucchini oven chips
This recipe, from Cooking Light, makes a great side dish with burgers or other grilled main course.
Slice the zucchini into rounds about ¼ inch thick. Dip into milk and then dredge in a mixture of seasoned breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Then place on an oven proof rack sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 30 minutes in a preheated oven at 425 F until brown and crispy.
This uses about 5 smaller zucchini. Only 21 left . . .
The next recipe is the ubiquitous zucchini bread. There are dozens of recipes for that. Each recipe uses about 3 cups of shredded zucchini, which is about 3 small or 2 larger zucchini. Now only 18 left.
Zucchini pie is a lovely main dish. You can use pre-packaged pie dough or crescent rolls or make your own dough from scratch.
Line your pie pan with the dough.
In a large sauté pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Sauté 4 cups of thinly sliced zucchini (about 4 small or 3 larger squash) and ½ cup chopped onions until tender. Add 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, 2 cloves of garlic, ¼ teaspoon of oregano and salt and pepper to taste.
In another large bowl, mix 2 eggs and 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese together. Add the zucchini mixture and gently stir. Pour mixture into pie crust. Bake at 375 F for 20 minutes or until a knife inserted into the filling comes out clean.
That takes us down to 14 more zucchini left. Sigh . . . I guess I should have only put in 6 plants instead of 12.
However, the good thing about zucchini is that you don’t have to use them all. The chickens will love you if you feed them squash (you have to open the fruit up for them though) and of course you can leave bags of zucchini at the doorsteps of your friends or on the desk of your office mates. They won’t hate you too much . . .