It is prime summer squash production time and it seems to be everywhere in our local food system. So let’s eat what we got. Here are 32 recipe ideas for zucchini (which also work for yellow squash, I usually cook them together). “Aromatics” in my text below refers to onions, garlic, and hot peppers. Use as much or as little of that as your taste prefers.
As always, I recommend that folks cook outside during the summer. Even if you have air conditioning, your AC has to work to deal with the excess heat and humidity inside your house that cooking gives off. If you cook outside during the summer, you will reduce your energy bill. You can bake on the porch in an electric portable roaster oven, or a counter-top convection oven.
1. Sliced thinly as half moons, sauteed with onions and garlic.
2. Shredded, sauteed (or not), mixed with pancake batter, cook as pancakes, serve sweet with maple syrup or as a bread with dinner.
3. Sliced, pickled
4. Shredded, sauteed, with or without ground meat, in tomato sauce, over pasta
5. Shredded, as chow-chow
6. Shredded, an added ingredient for meatloaf
7. Sliced thinly as half-moons,
8. Shredded, sauteed (with or without aromatics and crushed red pepper as your tastes may be), added to mashed potatoes
9. Leftovers from (1) above, mixed with shreds of cooked-leftover meat (any kind works), tossed in a hot skillet with some left-over pasta (any kind works), add a bit of crushed red pepper and some chopped fresh parsley from your garden.
10. Slice in half, scoop out the center so they make little boats, chop or shred what you scooped out, mix with ground meat (like a mixture of ground beef and sausage, an egg, some bread crumbs and aromatics0, maybe make a tomato sauce and pour over it, bake in oven until done, about 45 minutes. See http://allrecipes.com/recipe/stuffed-zucchini/ for a detailed recipe.
11. Slice thinly, saute until done, top with spaghetti sauce (with or without meat), using the zucchini instead of pasta.
12. Zucchini bread!
13. Zucchini muffins!
14. Shredded, or thinly sliced, or diced, as an ingredient in a salad.
15. Slice thinly as half moons, slice some onions (thinly), mince a little garlic, quarter some tomatoes and then chop the quarters in half, combine the ingredients, mix equal parts olive oil and vinegar (any vinegar), toss. (A cucumber, onion, and tomato salad only with zucchini/yellow squash instead of cucumber.)
16. Zucchini appetizers — slice as rounds, thicker than you would for a saute, top with — well, whatever toppings you like to put on crackers — cheese salad, tuna salad, sun dried tomatoes and goat cheese, cream cheese mixed with green olives, sliced cheese, anchovies, whatever you like!
17. Zucchini oven fries! Cut squash into French-fry size sticks. Or cut into rounds. Beat an egg in 1/4 cup milk. Mix a half cup of Parmesan cheese with a half cup of seasoned bread crumbs. Dip squash stick into the egg/milk mixture, then roll in the Paremsan cheese/bread crumb mixture. Lay on a cookie sheet that has been coated with olive oil. Bake for 25-30 until crispy done.
18. Combine two summer favorites and make Zucchini and Corn! Cube about a pound of zucchini (makes about 3 cups), mix with a cup of corn (just scraped off the cob is best, if using canned, add in the last couple minutes of cooking and be sure to drain it). Saute the zucchini and corn until done, about 8 minutes. You can add some aromatics for zest. When done, slice a lime and squeeze it over the dish and add a tablespoon of chopped cilantro (if you like it), a dash of salt and black pepper.
19. Shred zucchini, about 4 cups, put some olive oil in a pan, add some aromatics and a chipotle chili (minced) and a tablespoon of its sauce, cook for about 1 minute then add the shredded zucchini, cook until done, maybe 5 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare your favorite pasta. Toss the cooked zucchini with the cooked pasta, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese.
20. Another vegetable to pair with zucchini and corn is the tomato. Slice about a pound of zucchini, get a cup and a half of corn kernals (fresh or frozen), and some sliced tomatoes. Start with the zucchini, layer zucchini, corn, tomatoes, in a 2 quart baking dish. You can add miscellaneous aromatics according to your taste. Mix a half cup bread crumbs with a quarter cup Parmesan cheese and put on top. Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, then cover and bake another 10 minutes. If you want to avoid some carbs, leave the bread crumbs out, and you could even leave out the corn too.
21. Zucchini quesadillas ! You need about a half cup of finely chopped zucchini, some salsa, cheese, and tortillas. Mix the zucchini with the salsa (you can add some refried beans or mashed miscellaneous cooked beans to the zucchini/salsa mixture). Put on a tortilla, sprinkle on cheese, top with another tortilla. Cook on a stove top skillet, or in a toaster or broiler oven on each side.
22. Zucchini and bacon pie! This is really a quiche. Line a pie plate with your favorite pie crust. Or not, this works just fine without a crust if you are worried about the carbs. Fry some bacon. Slice some zucchini thinly (half moons of course) and saute for about five minutes with your favorite aromatics IN THE BACON FAT YES HE REALLY SAID FRY THE ZUCCHINI IN THE BACON FAT. You can leave the aromatics out if you don’t want them, but don’t leave out the bacon fat. Unless of course you are a vegetarian or vegan in which case you won’t be preparing a quiche anyway. Well, In suppose a vegetarian of the lacto-ovo denomination could make a quiche. Anyway, four eggs, beaten with a cup of milk (or reduce the carbs by using creme or half and half). Put the zucchini and crumbed bacon in the pan on the pie crust if you are using a pie crust. Sprinkle with cheddar or colby cheese, pour on the milk/cheese mixture, bake in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes, reduce heat to 375, back for another 35 minutes until the top is brown and the center is set.
23. Zucchini lasagna. Substitute slices of zucchini for the noodles in any lasagna recipe. Or keep the noodles, and add layers of thin half moons of zucchini. Or saute shredded zucchini and add it to the sauce or to the ground meat mixture.
24. Zucchini pizza! Add slices of zucchini as a topping to your favorite home-made pizza. Or saute shredded zucchini and add it to your pizza sauce. Or both!
25. Grilled zucchini rollups! Using a slicer, slice smaller zucchinis length-wise to make long strips. Use the first strip on each side (with most of the peel on it) for something else or simply compost it. Brush the slices on both sides with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, a little black pepper AND some crushed red pepper or ground cayenne. Grill on both sides under done, about 4 minutes/side. Let the grilled strips cool and then place a teaspoon (or more, depending on the size of the strips) about half an inch from the end of a strip and roll it up. Stab with a toothpick if they don’t quite want to stay rolled up. If you don’t have a favorite roll-up mixture, we like creme cheese with green olives, creme cheese with roasted garlic and some crushed red pepper, a slice of a hard cheese like cheddar, preferably a sharper tasting cheddar, and a black olive, and finally, the ever popular pesto. We like to make pesto with our own basil leaves and Oklahoma pecans.
26. Saute sliced mushrooms, sliced zucchini, sliced bell pepper, additional aromatics as you please, for 3-5 minutes until the veggies are done. Meanwhile, grill or warm four tortillas. Top the grilled tortillas with about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the saute mixture, top with salsa, lettuce, and cheese. You can also add a layer of refried beans immediately on top of the tortilla, under the zucchini mixture.
27. Zucchini squares. This is almost like a zucchini biscuit. I think you could make this with a flax meal bread recipe instead of the wheat flour if you are watching your carbs. Anyway, here’s the recipe from SouthernFood at About.com. http://southernfood.about.com/od/zucchinirecipes/r/Zucchini-Squares.htm
28. Battered fried squash. Combine 1/2 cup milk, 3 beaten eggs, a teaspoon of salt to make the batter. Slice the squash thinly. Dip in the milk/egg mixture, then roll in cornmeal. Deep fry until done.
29. Zucchini fritters. Combine 1 cup flour, 1 tsp baking powder, dash of salt. Add 1 tablespoon melted butter, mix thoroughly. Add 1/2 cup milk, mix, let stand for 30 minutes. Add 1 cup shredded summer squash. Drop by spoonfuls into hot oil and fry until done.
30. Crockpot zucchini. Put 2 pounds sliced zucchini, an 8 ounce can of stewed tomatoes (or use a cup of chopped fresh tomatoes from your garden or the farmers market), some aromatics, also oregano, salt and pepper. Cook on high for 2-4 hours until the zucchini is done. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese before serving.
31. Slice 3 pounds of squash, put in crock pot, add a few aromatics, sprinkle with salt and pepper, top with 3 tablespoons bread crumbs mixed with 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or until tender.
32. Zucchini, chicken, rice casserole. You need about 3 cups diced zucchini, 3 cups cooked chicken, 3 cups chicken broth, 1 cup uncooked rice, the aromatics and seasonings you prefer, some sliced mushrooms, 2 cups chopped tomatoes. Saute the aromatics for a minute, add the zucchini and mushrooms, cook about four minutes, add the uncooked rice, cook another minute, add your seasonings, chicken, and broth. Pour into a greased casserole pan. Saute some more aromatics until the onions start to caramelize, add the chopped tomatoes (do this with chopped fresh tomatoes instead of canned tomatoes), a dash of chili powder, mix well, spoon on top of the casserole. Back at 350 degrees for one hour.