Zucchini

What to do with a massive harvest of zucchini.

One vegetable that sometimes takes over the garden is zucchini. If you find yourself with a massive harvest of this summer squash, don’t despair! There is more to do with it than making zucchini bread. What can you do with all your zucchini?                                                

Many people freeze grated zucchini so they can make recipes throughout the year. In order to do this safely, follow these guidelines:

  1. Choose young, tender squash. Wash and grate.
  2. Steam blanch small quantities for one to two minutes, until translucent.
  3. Pack measured amounts into containers (if your recipe calls for one cup, use that amount). Leave a half-inch headspace.
  4. Place container in cold water to cool.
  5. Seal, label and freeze. If it’s watery when thawed, discard the liquid before using.

If you want to use your zucchini fresh, Michigan State University Extension recommends that you substitute it for cucumbers in your favorite pickle recipe. You can include it raw in strips or rounds on a relish tray. You can bread and deep fry it, serving it with ranch dip or chop it into a stir-fry or omelet. There are many ways to use this versatile vegetable. Here are a couple recipes to get you started:

No-crust zucchini quiche

6 cup coarsely shredded zucchini (about 2 medium sized)                      

1/4 cup salad oil

8 ounces shredded Swiss cheese                                                         

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 eggs                                                                                     

1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 cup buttermilk baking mix

Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 9-inch pie plate. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients with a fork. Pour mixture into pie plate and bake 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown and a knife inserted into center comes out clean.

Makes six servings.

Microwave zucchini applesauce

2 medium zucchini, peeled and diced                                        

2 whole cloves

2 cooking apples, peeled, cored and diced                               

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup water                                                                           

1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)

1/4 cup sugar                                                                           

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

In a two-quart casserole dish, combine zucchini, apples, sugar, cloves, salt and water. Cover and cook six to seven minutes or until zucchini is tender, turning once. Discard cloves. Mash until smooth and add cinnamon and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate. Makes about two cups.

As you can see, there are many ideas on how to use zucchini. Use your imagination to find new and interesting ways you can substitute it for other ingredients in your recipes. Share it with friends, family and neighbors!

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