by Angela Pohlman, General Merchandise Category Manager
Zucchini is so delicious and versatile: you can pretty much add it to anything. It can be eaten raw or cooked; sweet or savory. It better be, because usually by the end of summer we are all swimming in zucchini from our gardens. Here are a few ideas on how to spice up your relationship with this squash!
Zucchini has a pretty high water content. Keep this in mind when adding it to untested recipes. You may consider letting it sit in a strainer after prepping to let some of the water drip out. Or if you are using shreds, place in a clean towel and squeeze it out.
•Thin Slice: My favorite! You can thin slice and bake or fry strips for a quick snack. Use a mandolin or sharp knife to create a noodle/pasta effect, and use it in place of wheat noodles in lasagna or fettuccine! (Veggie noodles are so hot right now)
•Diced, Coins & Moons: Classic. Add to pasta dishes or soups.
•Boats: Slice lengthwise, scoop out some of the innards, stuff with delicious things, either eat raw or bake!
•Fries: Thick wedges that you can bread or batter, and then dip into dips. This may be my favorite, actually.
•Shreds: Use shreds to make fritters; blend with potatoes for a veggie rich tater tot, or add to casseroles. Or just add butter for a quick sauteed side dish! Shredded zucchini is a fantastic way to sneak it into cake, brownie, and bar recipes. Wait, this is my favorite.
•Preserve it: Store it so you can have zucchini in the winter when you realize what you have lost:
• Freeze: Wash, slice, blanch, spray a cookie sheet with oil and freeze, then put into your container. Boom! (I like to shred, squeeze out excess water, and freeze in 2 cup portions for use in baked goods!)
• Dehydrate: You can do that either in a fancy dehydrator or in an oven at 175ºF for about 2 hours.
• Pickle: You can find all kinds of recipes online! Pretty much just like making pickles. You can also make relish!
•Compost: When all else fails….
OLIVE OIL ZUCCHINI BREAD
I’ll end with an Olive Oil Zucchini Bread recipe adapted from the New York Times. Olive oil in sweet recipes is such a pleasant experience; it adds a richness that folks will have trouble putting their finger on. Enjoy!
1 1/2 c. grated zucchini
2/3 c. light brown sugar
1/3 c. olive oil (you can sub other oils, but do try the olive!)
1/3 c. plain greek yogurt (dairy or non)
2 large eggs (or egg replacer)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour (replace 1/2 cup with whole grain, if you like)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp.cinnamon & 1/4 tsp. nutmeg OR
1 1/2 tsp. cardamom & 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. lemon zest (don’t skip!)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Directions: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter or spray oil an 8-inch loaf pan.
Mix all the wet ingredients together in a large bowl. Whisk the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Fold the dry into the wet, and then fold in the walnuts. Pour into prepared loaf pan, bake for 40 to 55 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Toothpick test for doneness. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, then remove bread from pan to cool completely before serving.