Zucchini has a great flavor even when little is done to it. It does have a lot of water, and it will start coming out of the squash as it is cooked (keep this in mind depending on the texture you are going for). The flesh is tender. In fact, the smaller the squash the more tender it is. Don't get all caught up with size when it comes to vegetables, get caught up in flavor!
QUICK IDEAS: marinade and cook on the grill; finely chop, cook and add cheese to use as a chip dip
Lasagna Stuffed Zucchini Boats: serves 4
4 large zucchini, halved lengthwise
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb. ground beef or turkey
1 c. jarred marinara
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 c. ricotta
Freshly ground black pepper
1 c. shredded mozzarella
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Score zucchini (like you’re dicing an avocado) and scoop out insides into a large bowl.
2) In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add onion and cook until soft, 5 minutes, then add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add ground beef and cook until no longer pink, 6 minutes more, then add marinara and stir until combined. Add crushed red pepper flakes.
3) Stuff zucchini: Spread ricotta on bottom of each zucchini boat and season with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over ricotta layer and sprinkle with mozzarella.
4) Bake until zucchini is tender and cheese golden, 15 minutes.
Garnish with parsley and serve.
Grilled Portobello Steaks with Tomato Aioli and Zucchini Fries: serves 4
4 portobello mushroom caps, stemmed and gills trimmed
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
3 garlic cloves, divided
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium zucchini, ends trimmed
2 tbsp. olive oil
3/4 c. panko bread crumbs
1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan
3 tbsp. freshly chopped thyme, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1/4 c. oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 tsp. lemon zest
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1) Preheat oven to 425°. Place portabello mushrooms in a large plastic bag. In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, 2 garlic cloves, and olive oil, then pour marinade over mushrooms and let sit at room temperature while you prep zucchini fries.
2) Cut each zucchini into four pieces: halve crosswise and then lengthwise, and then cut each half into thirds. In a large bowl, toss zucchini pieces with 2 tablespoons olive oil, using your hands to evenly coat.
3) In a small bowl, stir together panko, Parmesan, and 2 teaspoons fresh thyme and season with salt and pepper. 4) Add panko mixture to zucchini bowl and toss well to coat.
5) Transfer zucchini fries to two parchment-lined baking sheets, sprinkling fries with any remaining breadcrumb mixture, and season with salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes.
6) Meanwhile, in a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse mayonnaise, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon zest and juice, and remaining garlic clove and teaspoon thyme until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
7) Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Remove mushrooms from marinade and season with salt and pepper. Grill until tender, about 3 minutes per side.
8) Serve portabello “steaks” with sun-dried tomato aioli and zucchini fries.
Zucchini Enchiladas: serves 4
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
3 c. Shredded chicken
1 1/3 c. red enchilada sauce, divided
4 large zucchini, halved lengthwise
1 c. Shredded Monterey Jack
1 c. shredded Cheddar
Sour cream, for drizzling
Fresh cilantro, for garnish
1) Preheat oven to 350º. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and season with salt. Cook until soft, 5 minutes, then add garlic, cumin and chili powder and stir until combined. Add shredded chicken and 1 cup enchilada sauce and stir until saucy.
2) On a cutting board, use a Y-shaped vegetable peeler to make thin slices of zucchini. Lay out three, slightly overlapping, and place a spoonful of chicken mixture on top. Roll up and transfer to a baking dish. Repeat with remaining zucchini and chicken mixture.
3) Spoon remaining 1/3 cup enchilada sauce over zucchini enchiladas and sprinkle with both cheeses.
Bake until melty, 20 minutes.
4) Garnish with sour cream and cilantro and serve.
Zucchini Salad with Corn, Squash Blossoms and Feta: serves 4
From Dishing Up the Dirt
4 ears of corn, husked
1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
2 medium-small zucchini, spiralized or use a vegetable peeler to achieve a similar cut
2 medium-small summer squash, spiralized
2 scallions, finely chopped (white and light green parts only)
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil, finely chopped
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh parsley, finely chopped
6-8 zucchini blossoms, torn into small pieces (optional)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 cup crumbled goat's milk feta
salt and pepper to taste
1) Cook the corn in a large pot of boiling water for 3 minutes. Remove from the water and set aside to cool.
2) In a small dry skillet over medium heat, toast the sunflower seeds until golden brown. About 3-5 minutes. Shake the pan often to avoid burning.
3) When the corn is cool enough to handle cut the kernels from the cobs and place in a large bowl. Add the zucchini,, summer squash, scallions, herbs, squash blossoms (if using) olive oil, red wine vinegar and crushed red pepper flakes. Toss until everything is mixed well together.
4) Top with the feta and toasted sunflower seeds and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Fried Zucchini Spaghetti: Serves 4
from Food and Wine, April 2011
1 lb small zucchini, thinly sliced
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 lbs spaghetti (or try spaghetti squash when it is in season on the farm!:)
1 cup shredded parmigiano (best to buy a wedge and shred it yourself)
1/2 cup basil leaves, torn
1) In a medium bowl, toss zucchini with the flour and a pinch of salt.
2) In a very large skillet heat half the oil.
3) Add half the zucchini and fry over high heat, turning once or twice until browned and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes.
4) Using a slotted spoon, transfer zucchini to paper lined wire rack and season with salt to help oil drain. Repeat with remaining zucchini.
5) Meanwhile cook spaghetti until al dente. Drain reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking liquid.
6) Return pasta to the pot and toss with the cheese and basil and pepper. Add the reserved water a little at a time to coat (you may not need to use it all).
7) Transfer the pasta to a bowl and top with crispy zucchini. Serve right away.
Hot and Spicy Zucchini-Scallion Dip
from Raw Energy by Stephanie Tourles
3 medium zucchini, peeled and cut into chunks (about 2 cups)
1 bunch scallions, cut into 1 inch pieces (about 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup tahini
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 medium lemon
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tsp sea salt or favorite seasoning salt
3/4 tsp cayenne pepper (reduce for milder flavor)
1) Put zucchini, scallions, tahini, oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and cayenne in a food processor and blend until thick and creamy, about 1 min.
2) Store in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Zucchini Patties: Serves 6
from Bon Appetit Sept. 2014
3 medium zucchini, coarsely grated
1 medium onion, coarsely grated
1 Tbsp. coarse salt, plus more
small bunch of scallions, finely chopped
1 large egg, beaten to blend
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh thyme
vegetable oil, for frying
sour cream or greek yogurt, for serving
1) Mix zucchini, onion, and 1 Tbsp. salt in a medium bowl. Let sit 10 minutes, then wring out as much liquid as possible from zucchini and onion in a kitchen towel. Mix with scallions, egg, panko, cilantro, and thyme in a clean medium bowl; season with pepper.
2) Pour oil into large skillet, preferably cast iron, to a depth of 1/2" and heat over medium heat until oil bubbles when a pinch of zucchini mixture is added.
3) Working in batches, drop tablespoons of zucchini mixture into skillet and gently flatten with a spatula into 2" patties. Cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels; season with salt. Serve with sour cream or greek yogurt.
Summer Vegetable Gratin: Serves 8 as side or 4 as light entree
From Cook's Illustrated July/August 2008
6 Tbsp. olive oil
1 pound zucchini, ends trimmed and sliced crosswise into 1/4-in. thick slices
1 pound yellow summer squash, ends trimmed and sliced crosswise into 1/4-in. thick slices
2 tsp. table salt
1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes (3 to 4 large), sliced 1/4 in. thick
2 medium onions, halved lengthwise and sliced thin pole to pole (about 3 cups)
3/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp minced fresh thyme leaves
1 large slice white sandwich bread, torn into quarters
2 ounces grated Parmesan (about 1 cup)
2 medium shallots, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1) Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Brush 13x9 baking dish with oil, set aside.
2) Toss zucchini and summer squash slices with 1 tsp. salt in large bowl; transfer to colander set over bowl. Let stand until zucchini and squash release at least 3 Tbsp. of liquid, about 45 minutes. Arrange slices on triple layer paper towels; cover with another layer of paper towels and firmly press each slice to remove as much liquid as possible.
3) Place tomato slices in single layer on paper towels, sprinkle evenly with 1/2 tsp. salt; let stand 30 minutes. Place second layer of towels on top of tomatoes and press firmly to dry tomatoes.
4) Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp. oil in 12-in. nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onions, remaining 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened and dark golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Set onions aside.
5) Combine garlic, 3 Tbsp. oil, remaining 1/2 tsp. pepper, and thyme in small bowl. In large bowl, toss zucchini and summer squash in half of oil mixture, then arrange in greased baking dish. Arrange caramelized onions in even layer over squash. Slightly overlap tomato slices in single layer on top of onions. Spoon remaining garlic-oil mixture evenly over tomatoes. Bake until vegetables are tender and tomatoes are starting to brown on edges, 40 to 45 minutes.
6) Meanwhile, process bread in food processor until finely ground, about 10 seconds. You should have about 1 cup crumbs. Combine bread crumbs, remaining tablespoon oil, Parmesan, and shallots in medium bowl. Remove baking dish from oven and increase heat to 450 degrees. Sprinkle bread-crumb mixture evenly on tomatoes. Bake gratin until bubbling and cheese is lightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with basil and let sit at room temperature 10 minutes before serving.
Marinated Zucchini and Yellow Squash Salad: Serves 4
1/2 cup cider vinegar
4 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
2 yellow squash
2 garlic scapes, finelly chopped
1 tablespoonfresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon very warm water
mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
1) Combine vinegar, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until sugar dissolves.
2) Trim ends of zucchini and squash; cut into thin, long ribbons with harp-shaped peeler. Add to vinegar mixture.
3) Cover and chill 2 hours or overnight.
4) Add garlic scapes to a food processor, and add lemon juice, olive oil, warm water, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Process until smooth.
5) Drain squash, and divide among 4 plates. Top with cubed mozzarella, and drizzle with garlic scape oil.
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs (1-2 pieces of bread, toasted, cooled, and chopped)
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons milk or half and half
2 1/2 cups (1/4-inch-thick) slices zucchini (about 2 small)
1) Preheat oven to 425°.
2) Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk.
3) Place milk in a shallow bowl. Dip zucchini slices in milk, and dredge in breadcrumb mixture. Place coated slices on an ovenproof wire rack coated with olive oil or cooking spray; place rack on a baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes or until browned and crisp.
4) Serve immediately
1 teaspoon olive oil
1-2 zucchini (could use yellow squash, too), grated on the large holes of a cheese grater (or in a food processor)
2-3 Scallions, minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 teaspoon lemon juice
1) In a medium pan, heat olive oil over medium-high.
2) Add zucchini, garlic, and thyme; season with salt and pepper.
3) Cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is tender and golden brown in spots, about 5 minutes.
4) Transfer to a medium bowl and let cool to room temperature (or refrigerate, up to overnight; bring to room temperature before continuing).
5) Add ricotta, lemon zest, and lemon juice, and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
6) Serve with tortilla chips, crackers or bread.
Zucchini Sticks with Onion Dip: Serves 4
*from King Arthur Flour...I have been CRAVING zucchini recently. This recipe is Awesome!
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium fresh onion, about 1/2 pound, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 cup yogurt
salt and pepper to taste
3 medium zucchini, unpeeled, cut into 3"-long stick
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup bread crumbs (you can make these by toasting bread and leaving them out on the counter to cool; then cut them up)
scant 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon mixed Italian herbs of your choice
2 large eggs; or 3 egg whites, lightly beaten
1) Place the zucchini sticks in a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with the tablespoon of salt. Set aside to let the zucchini drain for 1 hour or longer; rinse and pat dry.
2) Melt the butter in a medium frying pan over moderate heat, and add the sliced onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften, then caramelize. This should take between 10 and 15 minutes. The lower the heat, the longer it takes, but the less likely you are to burn the onions.
3) Once the onions are a medium brown, remove from the heat and add the vinegar.
4) Place the onions and vinegar into a small food processor. Add the honey and mustard, and process or blend until smooth.
5) Add the yogurt and salt and pepper to taste, stirring to combine. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.
6) Combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and herbs; set aside.
7) Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment, and cover the parchment with olive oil.
8) Dredge sticks a few at a time in the egg, then roll in the crumb mixture. Place the sticks on the prepared baking sheet.
9) Bake sticks for 12 minutes, turn over, and bake for an additional 8 minutes, until golden brown and crisp.
10) Serve immediately, with fresh onion dip.
Zucchini Latkes: Makes about 36 latkes
From Gourmet Magazine December 2008
3 lbs zucchini
1 1/3 cups plain fine bread crumbs
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
Vegetable oil for frying
1) Grate zucchini. Transfer to bowl and toss with 2 teaspoons salt. Let stand 30 minutes.
2) Squeeze zucchini in batches in a kitchen towel in batches to get rid of most of the moisture. Transfer back to bowl and stir in bread crumbs, eggs, marjoram, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
3) Preheat oven to 200 to keep latkes warm.
4) Heat 1/3 cup oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat (make sure oil is hot before starting).
5) Scoop 2 tablespoons mixture per latke and press with fork to flatten, 2 to 3 inches.
6) Fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel lined sheet and keep warm in the oven.