Zucchini (or courgettes as they call them here in merry England) are abundant this time of year. These vegetables are easy to go grow and can get HUGE if not picked early.
Word to wise shoppers: the smaller, younger zucchini have more flavor. Look for firm, heavy zucchini with bright glossy skin.
If you’re trying to cut down on calories, zucchini is a great food to add to your veggie table. They have a high water content (>95%) and so are very low in calories. Zucchini is also a source of folate, potassium, and vitamins A and C.
What to do with all this zucchini? eattheseasons has a sad-but-true observation:
In cafés and simple restaurants across the UK, courgettes are frequently (mis)used to make a poor excuse of a ratatouille or the sort of unappetizing vegetable ‘lasagne’ only ever eaten by desperate vegetarians with no other menu choice.
It’s so true (same can be said of risotto and goat’s cheese, the two other mainstays of vegetarian dining in Britain). But zucchini doesn’t have to be boring. Here are a few tasty ideas for tackling the zucchini glut:
Take a zucchini, scoop out the seeds, stuff with your favorite ingredients, and bake it til it’s done. Easy.
Need some stuffing ideas? Check out the urban vegan’s 50 ways to stuff zucchini.
On it’s own, steamed zucchini is a little bland. But you can liven them up with some herbs and spices. Take care not to steam too long or else they become a soggy mess!
- Steamed Zucchini with garlic and olive oil
- Sesame Steamed Zucchini
Stir-fried zucchini makes a quick, easy accompaniment to any meal.
Image: zucchini, bell pepper and corn stir-fried with olive oil, cumin seeds, salt and pepper. Served with enchiladas and black beans – yum!
Simple but delicious pasta dish: grate zucchini and stir fry with garlic and olive oil. Toss with pasta and top with parmesan cheese. SO good.
Grated zucchini is also delicious raw with salads.
Zucchini’s a great on the grill. All you need is salt, pepper and a healthy dose of olive oil. I like a sprinkle of cumin seeds, as well – very good with Mexican food.
- Grilled Zucchini with garlic, oregano and rosemary
- Grilled Zucchini with lemon, chili, basil and mint
- Easy Grilled Zucchini
with Italian salad dressing
- Zucchini Fritters at limes & lycopene
- Courgette Fritters with Tomato and Feta Salsa
- Zucchini Patties
- Zucchini Corn Fritters
- Courgette and Potato Cakes with Mint and Feta
Eat them raw
I already mentioned grated zucchini over a salad. Here’s a couple other ideas:
Marinating zucchini in lemon juice gives it a lightly-cooked, al dente texture.
Marinated courgette salad with pine nuts & parmesan
I suspect you could make a no-pasta lasagna with strips of zucchini “noodles” instead of lasagna. But that wouldn’t be lasagna, would it? Why not a tasty tray of the real thing?
- Courgette Tomato and Gruyre Gratin
- Zucchini Parmesan
- Sesame Parmesan Zucchini
- Baked Zucchini with Tomatoes
- Baked Zucchini Chips
- Nat’s Oven Baked Zucchini Chips
No, not the Pixar movie. This Provencal stew is a delicious way to enjoy this season’s zucchini, eggplant, green peppers and tomato.
Don’t forget about zucchini bread
Or CAKE for that matter!
- Heidi’s “Special” Zucchini Bread
- Mom’s Zucchini Bread
- Chocolate zucchini cupcakes
- Chocolate & zucchini cake
Your turn: what do you do with zucchini? Post your ideas and recipes in the comments!