Oh the bounty!
My friend Eli grew more zucchini this summer than he and his family can eat. When I recently stopped by his house, their kitchen island was stacked high with giant green gourds that he was giving away to anyone who would take some. These were giant, potential prize winning zucchini, some the size of baseball bats.
I uploaded a photo of Eli holding up one of his zucchini to Facebook and the entertaining comments quickly flooded in. Grace suggested he should carve it out and make a kayak. Stephen thought he should show it to Dean Wormer’s wife. This zucchini was so big, we’re sure Eli could either grill it, bake it, or bludgeon someone to death with it.
After leaving Eli’s house with enough zucchini to feed the US Olympic team, it struck me I didn’t know what to make other than basic grilled zucchini and zucchini bread. It was time to get creative, which means searching for ideas.
First, a test. Did you know the zucchini is known as a courgette in France? Wikipedia also revealed that although we treat the zucchini as a vegetable in the kitchen, it is botanically an immature fruit, and is actually the “swollen ovary of the zucchini flower.”
Back to the recipe search now. I found a recipe for a Tomato Zucchini Bake, and had enough ingredients to improvise. I made the recipe found on the link, but substituted smashed up croutons for the panko and added some shredded mozzarella cheese. It turned out delicious.
Looking at other creative possibilities, I knew we had some puff pastry doughs in the freezer I’d been looking for an excuse to use. I pulled two out and layered a thin slice of zucchini, a thin slice of tomato, a slice of Jack cheese from the West Chester Growers Market, another slice of tomato, a slice of onion and a slice of zucchini. This was tossed into the oven while the zucchini bake was in there, and pulled it out when the dough had browned. Sliced in two, we ate it with our zucchini bake. Simple and fresh.
But, there is still more zucchini to eat, so again, I turned to FB friends, asking what ideas they might have.
Gretchen simply replied, “slices, flour, egg, cracker crumbs. Fry. YUM!!!!”
Laura, who had also received a bag of Eli’s zucchini and had made zucchini chips with sliced tomatoes and wrote out the recipe, ”sprayed thin slices of zucchini with olive oil, lightly salted, peppered and garlic powdered; then baked in hot oven until nice and crisp and browned. Then topped each with a slice of garden fresh tomato…..yum….one large Zucchini down.”
Tom recommended the thirst-quenching Zucchini-Tini.
Shannon sent a link to a Grilled Zucchini and Goat Cheese Rollatini with Raisins and Pistachios recipe. I’ve purchased all the ingredients except for the goat cheese, so this will be next on my list.
Do you have a unique zucchini recipe to share? Let us know!