Wednesday, July 11, 2012

how to eat zucchini

Zucchini.
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Do you grow it? Then you probably have 700 zucchini right now.......right?
 They kind of explode starting in July. The good news is, there are so many things you can put zucchini into, and so many ways to eat it (personally, I never get tired of it simply grilled.....yum)

**gardeners tip*** I kind of laugh that I am giving any kind of gardening tip, because I am still pretty clueless, but the last few years my zucchini have only done ok......we didn't have all the extras everyone always complains about. The plant would be LOADED with tiny zucchini, and then they would shrivel and turn yellow. From what I understand (please correct me if I am wrong--I know some of you are expert gardeners) this is because they aren't getting pollinated. This year I put a few little pots of petunias right next to my zucchini plants, and I also let my leftover radishes go to seed (they flower at the top). I have so many bees in my garden now (they are LOVING the radish blossoms!) and my zucchini have been doing better than any other year.....just a thought.

Zucchini is no super food, but it is still rich in fiber and has 40% your daily value of vitamin A in one serving. It also has smaller amounts of vitamin C, potassium, and manganese and a handful of B vitamins......and it's easy to grow, so eat up!

Grilled Zucchini and Squash
My favorite way (and it's very simple) to eat it, is sliced thin, tossed in olive oil,  fresh lemon juice, and salt and pepper. This time we mixed in some summer squash with it. Grill it for a few minutes on each side, give it a squeeze of lemon and VWALLA! The perfect summer side dish.
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Have you ever checked your garden one night and all is well, and the next morning you head out and giant alien zucchini have taken over? They grow so quickly! When I have a few large zucchini around I love to stuff them.  The best part is really you can put ANYTHING in them. A lot of stuffed zucchini recipes are baked, but remember--my oven is currently off duty
So I wanted to put these on the grill.

Grilled Stuffed Zucchini

-Cut zucchini in half long ways down the middle. 
I then cut his in half, just so it was easier to work with and eat, but you can keep it whole if you want.

-Scoop out the seeds, so you have your little zucchini boat.
-Brush with olive oil.
-Place on an oiled grill flesh side down (medium-ish heat), close the lid, and let it cook for about 8-10 minutes. Check in on them so they don't overcook--all grills cook differently. You want them to be fork tender, but not quite all the way done.
-Make your filling. I used: (measurements approximate-it will all depend on how big your zucchini is)
-1 cup butter beans
-2 small tomatoes
-small handful chopped kalamata olives
-small handful of chopped green onions
-small handful of goat cheese
-about 1/4c basil pesto
-pinch of salt
mix together.

-Fill your zucchini and top with another sprinkle of goat cheese 
(you can never have too much goat cheese)

Place them back on the grill, this time skin-side down, close the lid and let them cook for about 5 more minutes, until zucchini is all the way tender, and filling is heated through.

Top with a sprinkle of chopped arugula.
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 Like I said before, you can add anything in to the filling. The beans made them perfect for lunch, but if you want them as a side dish, omit the beans and add some more veggies--maybe peppers and artichoke hearts. Skip the pesto and mix in some lemon juice and olive oil. 
Swap the goat cheese for feta. Endless possibilities!
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enjoy!

Here are a few more ways that I have used zucchini in the past:
Black bean, corn, and zucchini salad (great with the fish tacos)
It can be thrown into pasta like this one with arugula pesto.
Add it to soups like a simple minestrone.

from around the web:
Zucchini Cobbler over at Happy Yolks
Zucchini Toasts from Sprouted Kitchen
Bacon Zucchini Quiche from Always with Butter
Spicy Zucchini Frittata  from Whole Living
Also check out reader suggestions on my facebook page (here!)

How do YOU eat zucchini?

19 comments:

corrine baker said...

Grilled. Roasted. Or sauteed and added into some marinara for pasta night! My mom makes zucchini boats stuffed with garlic, cream cheese, and herbs and baked. Very rich, but sometimes a nice treat.

The Webbs said...

ahhh your stuffed zucchini looks waaaay better than mine. my husband loves it stuffed with veggies and sausage-I really need to try it veggie style one day (i think zucchini is meaty enough itself).

the only way i will not eat this stuff is how my MIL does (i love my MIL by the way!), she just cooks it up with milk.. bleh!

this looks amazing-cant wait to try new recipes.

Faith said...

the stuffed zucchini looks so delicious. sigh. i wish i could cook. or had slight knowledge about food. and cooking.

Kenny said...

When I have a LOT of zucchini I just start shredding it and adding it to stuff--even meatloaf!

Our Paper Plates said...

Yum!! We shred zucchini and add it to refried beans with homemade taco seasoning. It makes a yummy burrito w/ lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and salsa. And of course avocados..yum. I'm all about hiding vegetables in my toddler's food when she isn't ready to eat them raw with the family.

Kaitlyn Luce said...

I love grilled zuchinni, squash, and red peppers. Also, those three sauteed, with some onion added in. So good. I don't know how I never enjoyed the stuff before!

Hays said...

darn squash bugs and the heat got my plant this year!!! agh!

Stacy said...

Those look so good. I make mine with feta and tomato. I like the idea of adding butter beans. Roasted is my favorite and quickest way. I also make zucchini crisps with panko, parm and olive oil. very tasty.

whitneyingram said...

For the farm-to-table dinner, we did a zucchini gratin. Layers of thinly sliced zucchini with smoked gouda and aged cheddar, some garlic and onions and heavy cream. People went nuts for it. It was the favorite dish of the night by far. So many people asked me if it is going to be in the book. So I decided to do that. BUT.... it isn't the prettiest dish on the planet. You are going to have to get creative on how to photograph it. :)

Carissa Knight said...

I love zucchini every possible way, including raw. We had a zucchini pad thai dish last night, but usually I can't get past just grilling it! Our plants aren't doing well...I think I planted them too late, so the heat is really making them struggle. I'm hoping they'll perk up & start producing soon!

Josh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melissa said...

Your stuffed zucchini looks so good!

Interesting tidbit about the pollination thing... Gotta love those hardworking bees!

Personally, I don't like when zucchini gets monstrous... There's just somethings so unappetizing about them when they get huge. Ha! Weird..

herbivoresheaven said...

I absolutely love stuffed vegetables, these look sensational!

Tessa Shoemaker said...

Such a great zucchini recipe! Def will be trying, thanks for sharing!

city said...

thanks for sharing.

Yossy | apt2bbakingco said...

Thank you for sharing my zucchini cake! I also love to make a simple pasta with grated zucchini, onions and red pepper flakes: saute everything together until it is golden and melty then toss with spaghetti and a bit of the pasta water and olive oil, then top with grated parmesan and a squeeze of lemon. It's a simple and delicious summertime meal. Oh, and this recipe looks totally delicious.

Anna Scandinavian Cottage said...

Yep, I'm one of those with hundreds of them right now, yellow and green. I prefer to eat mine raw or put straight on the grill but they can be no bigger than 4 inches otherwise they turn bitter.

his little lady said...

Oh gosh! These look absolutely scrumptious!!!
xo TJ

http://www.hislittlelady.com

Anu Gupta said...

I don't have a grill, can I bake it? What temp and how long?