CSA Survival Menu #2: The all and nothing vegetable: Zucchini!

I am calling it an all-and-nothing vegetable, because it is really so versatile. You can let it absorb so many flavors, because it really doesn’t have so much of a pronounced taste of its own!

It is also very prolific in the garden, and sometimes even those of us with the best of intentions at a certain point run screaming from the very sight of it, a bit later in the season, when we have seen 500 zucchini.

Don’t let it happen to you.

Here are a few simple and YUMMY and versatile recipes, as versatile as this all-and-nothing vegetable itself.

Shred it!

Do you think I’m going to give you a recipe for zucchini bread? Ok, while I appreciate a good zucchini bread as much as the next person, “zucchini bread” is just basically a vehicle for me to get my chocolate-chip fix. Yum! But, what else can you do with shredded zucchini? Just about anything!

  • – to save on money for expensive ground meat (organic stuff gets pricey, y’know) I like to mix a half pound of ground beef with a plentiful grating of zucchini. The veggie absorbs the flavor of the meat, and also has a firm texture. You can even grate it, and then also chop it in a food processor, so it is in bits, which even further blends in with the meat!

    Shredded Zucchini/Beef Stroganoff, with a Buffalo White Sauce – rave reviews from Hub’band et al.

  • – to add to stir fry meals, and soups (but only add it in soups for the last couple minutes before serving, or it turns grey and gets a little icky-looking, say the children in my house.
  • – You can also blanch and squeeze excess moisture out and freeze in 1 or better yet, 2 cup portions. Fiberiffic and moisture! Save a few for your favorite sweet bread recipe when you need a shot of something tasty in the dark of winter.

Slice it!

  • – Here are some pics of a great and easy way to make zucchini chips! Just add a little oil and your favorite seasoning, and broil until its done to your liking. I like mine slightly brown on the outside, but soft on the inside.

Fry it?

  • – you can batter and fry these little chips, too, which is very delicious. I like to do a dip in egg wash, onion ring mixture, and a little parmesan. Nothing I do very frequently because of the labor intensity, but its very good.

Fill it!

  • – Our CSA grows an ‘8-ball’ variety of squash, which is fun to cook. I cut in half, hollow out the seeds and squishy part, then fill with all kinds of things, depending on my mood. These photos show some cheese and other veggies as the filling, which I chopped in the food processor and mixed together, then squished into the halves. Put the halves in a pan, cover with foil, and bake at 375 until nice and hot and bubbly – around 35 minutes or so.  (Alternately, you can cut it like a pumpkin, fill it, then put the ‘cap’ on to bake. It is cute this way. It tastes the same.) You can fill this kind of a zucchini squash with a mixture to suit your meals theme – Tex-Mex, Indian, Italian like mine, Hamburger/Cheeseburger – many, many possibilities. This is also a good way to use up your ‘Oops squash.” As in, “Oops, I was picking squash and somehow didn’t notice this one, for days and days, until it got too big, and really the only good use for it is to hollow it out and fill it and bake it.”

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I’d be interested to know other favorite zucchini squash recipes. Do you have any to share with us?

Next on my list to try:

Zucchini as a pasta (and I think you can even freeze it like this!)! I will report back to you all and tell you how it goes for me. Until then, you can read about this recipe here at this link.

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One thought on “CSA Survival Menu #2: The all and nothing vegetable: Zucchini!

  1. inherchucks says:

    another great post!

    Come and link up to this week’s CSA link party when you get a chance…http://inherchucks.com/2012/07/19/whats-in-the-box-35/. Looking forward to having you there 🙂

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