The veggies are coming in strong now. If you have frequented a Farmer’s Market or you’re a member of a CSA, you know this. There is a lot to choose from. That means it’s the height of Zucchini season right now! Also known as the time of year you look around and think: Why did I plant all of these zucchini? There are too many!
But it’s really a good problem to have. As you contemplate all the many zucchini (which are practically free in the farmer’s market this week), don’t forget why you planted them. They’re good, they’re mild, they’re full of vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Manganese, and Potassium. You can throw them in the blender and they turn into a white sort of zucchini milk. You can put it in smoothies, or replace water or even milk in all sorts of recipes. You can make zucchini brownies or zucchini pancakes and no one would know but you. If you’re into that sort of thing.
If you’re not, here are Dara’s top 5 recipes for using summer zucchini at the height of the season!
Lemon Chili Pepper Salad
Dara loves Jamie Oliver’s recipe for this sparkling summer salad. Shred up some yellow summer squash, green zucchini or a mix with a vegetable peeler. Top them up with a lemon and olive oil dressing with some fresh slices of red chili or dried red chili flakes. Easy, really good, super flavorful and fresh. If you have leftovers they’re good smashed down the next day and added to a cheese sandwich.
She sort of has a tie for fifth place, if you’re looking for more zucchini ideas. Zucchini goes really well with lime juice and peanuts too. Get that recipe here.
Dara’s feeling about zucchini bread is the more zucchini that’s in it, the better. Dara isn’t a fan of those invisible zucchini bread recipes. She’d rather see the green zucchini! But maybe you are an invisible zucchini bread partisan? Food and Wine Magazine has a great little gallery of their favorite zucchini bread recipes and she loves the one from the great southern chef Ashley Christensen. Dara, of course, substitutes butter for canola oil.
Paper-thin sliced zucchini with a little olive oil, a few pine nuts, a little grated lemon peel…this is easy! Dara’s using a recipe from Chow and you will do this one time, then do it forever from memory. It’s a great one for pot lucks. Use feta cheese or parmesan, both are good.
Zucchini Ribbons with Almond Pesto
If you are thinking: “I want to go through a case of zucchini” then here’s your recipe. Smitten Kitchen’s recipe basically uses your vegetable peeler to turn zucchini into long flat noodles, and then you toss them with a ground up lemon and almond pesto. It’s excellent!
Zucchini with Parmesan
This is Dara’s favorite “use so much zucchini you can’t even believe it” recipe. It’s by Ina Garten. Take just loads of zucchini, cut it into sizes which will be bite size once you cook them down (so a bit bigger than bite size). Cook with a couple onions in butter. Ina uses olive oil but Dara, once again, prefers butter. Add some parmesan and black pepper. You can make a nice dinner by just putting a couple of meatballs or a bit of rotisserie chicken on this. Make quadruple batches and freeze it. It’s a little mushy when it warms up, but as good as polenta. Such a great zucchini recipe!