I’m compelled to write this post because zucchini is not exactly my family’s favorite vegetable. I grew my own zucchini for the very first time this summer (it’s easier than you think; trust me!) and well, we’ve had to endure a lot of zucchini recipes in this household. But we’ve come out of this experiment with a new respect for this simple veggie. Here are our top five zucchini recipes:
- Raw zucchini salad. Shave with a vegetable peeler or mandoline (nice but so not necessary) into very thin, wide strips. Add whatever you like-olives, mint, basil, nuts, goat cheese, etc. Dress with a simple olive oil and lemon dressing.
- Grilled curried zucchini. Dress quartered zucchini wedges/thick spears (and any other veggies you enjoy grilled) with olive oil and curry powder. Season with salt. Grill until desired tenderness. Chop into chunks and add to salad or grains. Serve with a simple Greek yogurt dressing made with white wine vinegar, some red onion and chopped herbs. OMG delicious!
- Zucchini marinara sauce. Great for picky eaters. Grate zucchini, sauté in a tiny bit of olive oil and salt and throw in with your regular jarred or homemade marinara sauce. Heat and serve. You can even add it raw-no kidding!
- Zucchini bread. My favorite is a chocolate, gluten-free version of zucchini bread from www.elanaspantry.com. It makes a small loaf, so think about doubling the recipe. And take this advice from my mother-in-law: you can always add more raw zucchini than the recipe calls for and you won’t know the difference.
- Stuffed zucchini boats. We did this with a turkey sloppy joe recipe and it was INCREDIBLE! But you can use any meat or meatless version of chili that you like. Slice zucchini in half, scooping out the seeds. Fill empty halves with your favorite chili. Shred some grated cheese on top and bake at 400 degrees for about 20-25 minutes.
- Zucchini pasta. I lied-we really have six favorite recipes. This last one deserves a huge shout-out. (Who knew zucchini deserved a shout-out?) Use a vegetable spiral slicer to turn your zucchini into “pasta” noodles, sauté them in a skillet for 3-4 minutes with some olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Add your favorite pasta sauce. It’s so easy I actually can’t believe I didn’t know about this before.
I encourage you to try one of these recipes or tweak one to make your own and let me know what you think. Share your favorite zucchini recipe with me. There’s more growing in the garden, so I’m not done yet!