In late summer, gardeners of every skill level swear they’ll never plant another hill of zucchini, but by the time spring rolls around, the oft-maligned fruit winds up in the garden once again. Gardeners love zucchini in the spring because it performs so cheerfully and is usually the first squash to make it to the table. But midsummer bushels of the long, green or striped fruit leave gardeners wondering what to do with all the bounty. Read on for some easy zucchini recipes and fresh new ideas on how to eat up the excess.
Easy Zucchini Recipes
Zucchini are best picked when 6 to 8 inches long, although they can grow to be 2 feet long. The bigger the zucchini gets, the tougher it is, and the more seeds the fruit will contain. When purchasing, look for zucchini that have no bruises or broken skin. They can be stored in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator for three to seven days before use. Do not keep zucchini too long or they get mushy.
One cup of raw zucchini contains only about 25 calories. As with all fresh vege-tables, zucchini supplies many vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A, Vitamin C and potassium, along with a healthy dose of fiber.
Has anyone ever handed you a large zucchini? Did you wonder what in the world you were going to do with this 2-foot-long squash?
Don’t throw it away! Younger and smaller zucchini are more tender, but the older, tougher ones still have their uses. They are great for Stuffed Zucchini, for dipping and frying, or for making Zucchini Parmesan or Zucchini Bread. My mother recently made eight loaves of bread from one very large zucchini.
Note: Salt is optional but can be added to taste in all recipes.
Diane Hawkes went back to college after her children were grown, just for the degrees she’s always wanted. She and her husband grow only a few zucchini plants at their home in Unionville, New York, sharing the bounty with their two children and three grandchildren.