Zucchini season has arrived! I am in my element. Zucchini is one of my absolute favorite vegetables. It is incredibly versatile and works well in savory and sweet dishes. I cannot get enough of it. Well, I say that now. Ask me how I feel in a month or so and I may be singing a different tune. But that’s the beauty of eating seasonally! I’ll gorge myself until I’m sick of something and that’s about the time it’s no longer available.
Zucchini, like tomatoes, are technically fruit, though they are traditionally used as a vegetable. They are green and yellow. They two varieties are pretty much interchangeable. I prefer green, but I think that’s because green seems healthier. Like broccoli and kale.
One of my favorite ways to eat zucchini is in the form of faux-pasta. I use my nifty spiralizer to turn a zucchini into perfect noodles. I sauté those noodles in butter or lard, just until they are just tender (but not mushy! Mushy zucchini is the worst.). Alternately, you could blanch them and toss them with olive oil or butter. When they are almost done, I toss in some chopped garlic for good measure. Sometimes I add sauce. Sometimes I let the butter stand alone. Sometimes I top my noodles with meatballs. Sometimes I’ll just sauté extra veggies (mushrooms, onions, spinach, etc.) with them. It is a simple, healthy, delicious meal.
I also like to shred and freeze zucchini. I divide it up into one-cup portions so I can just pull out one or two bags to make zucchini baked goods. I also add it to oatmeal in the winter for an extra serving of vegetables. That probably sounds weird, but add a pat of butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, and some honey and you have zucchini bread oatmeal.
For those of you who care about such things, it is best to buy organic zucchini. They are on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen Plus list. While they don’t contain enough pesticide residue to make the top 12, some varieties of summer squash are genetically modified.
- Zucchini pasta (see above)
- Zucchini Pancakes (100 Days of Real Food) – I made these every other day for MONTHS last summer topped with pasta sauce and mozzarella cheese.
- Zucchini and Almond Pasta Salad (Smitten Kitchen)
- Sausage-Stuffed Zucchini Boats (Skinny Taste)
- Zucchini Toasts (Sprouted Kitchen)
- Zucchini Ricotta Frittata (Simply Recipes)
- 100% Whole Grain Chocolate Zucchini Cake (Texanerin)
- Grain-free Chocolate Chunk Zucchini Muffins (Riddlelove) – I’ve made these several times and they are wonderful.
- Zucchini Bread (KAF) – Use applesauce, pumpkin puree, or butter instead of veg oil. Please, please don’t use veg oil. Ever.