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I have a terrible story to share. A friend of mine, her fifth grade daughter was watching a neighbor’s dog for a week when they were out of town. That’s a lot of dog-walking and dog-feeding, for a week. And when they came home, they thanked this little girl by giving her a bag of zucchini from their garden! That is not a good payment this week. Most people are trying to get rid of their zucchini! And kids definitely don’t want bags full of the stuff. I mean, I think most kids would rather have a nice hug than a bag of zucchini.
However, I like a good bag of zucchini. I like zucchini because it’s high in antioxidants like lutein, because it’s high in nutrients like potassium, and of course because it tastes good. I mean, it tastes good if you have good things to do with it, like these!
Shaved Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash with Almond Salsa Verde
One of the weird things about zucchini is that if you slice it thinly and get it in the presence of some kind of acid or some kind of salt, it will melt in a very pleasant way, turning into something with a texture getting towards egg noodles. Well, as much as a vegetable can get towards egg noodles. I love egg noodles. That said, I also really love this shaved squash and almond salsa verde dish! It’s fantastic next to some steak or grilled sausages for an end-of-summer grilling feast.
Emeril’s Spiced Zucchini Bread
My mom used to make zucchini bread all the time, and she thought it was healthy and I thought it was cake, so we were all happy. Carry on this tradition yourself with the spiced zucchini of Emeril— yup! The “Bam!” guy. It’s a really good one.
Raw Zucchini Noodles with Thai Peanut Sauce
If you have a spiralizer you know about the culture of spiralizing that has unfurled (ba dum sha!) the last few years. If you don’t have a spiralizer you might have noticed zucchini noodles appearing in the ready-to-eat part of the grocery store. I’ve tried these in all sorts of ways, and the best ways are Asian, either with a southeast Asian vinaigrette in the papaya-salad family, or with a peanut sauce. Peanut sauces are rich and I love them—and the Minnesota bloggers Pinch of Yum make a great version.
Greek Zucchini Pie (Kolokiopita)
There are a great many Greek dishes that follow the basic outline of the famous spinach dish of spanakopita; there’s phyllo dough up top, vegetables eggs and cheese in the middle, phyllo down below. I find it irresistible. You can also make it crustless, and cut up squares to freeze and eat for breakfast after zucchini season passes. This is a bit insane, and a bit wonderful.
Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash Grilled with Bagna Cauda
Bagna cauda is a traditional warm butter, garlic and anchovy sauce used for vegetables and wow, do I love it. So much umami! It’s like everything you like about shrimp scampi, concentrated into a spoonful. On grilled zucchini with fried capers it’s ridiculous—get some nice red wine and throw a party. This is the stylish way to move out a bag of zucchini!