Every year I wait for zucchini season. It is so easy to cook and delicious. When I walk past the baskets and baskets of the beautiful vegetables I can see how it might be intimidating. What shall I do with zucchini? And how do I keep it from being boring?
What follows are three ways to easily make zucchini so everyone in your family will enjoy it.
First at the Collingswood Farmers’ market where I shop there are lots of zucchini in many colors and sizes. Currently there are yellow and green zucchini. Do not confuse yellow zucchini with yellow squash. They are different in texture and taste. Pictured on the left is a summer squash next to a yellow zucchini.
The first and easiest recipe is a kind of quick ratatouille style dish. I use zucchini, tomatoes, an onion, corn, and a garlic scape.
two medium to small zucchini
two ears of corn
one garlic scape
your favorite cheese
In a large enough frying pan melt about two tablespoons of butter into about two tablespoons of olive oil. When they are melted, fry a roughly chopped onion (or something from the onion family…a leek, a scallion…). Saute for about 3 minutes to get the onions started.
Then wash the zucchini and cut off the top and bottom. Slice into rounds and toss into the pan with the onions,
Next roughly chop your tomatoes and toss them into the pan.
While all of the vegetables are cooking on a medium heat, clean the corn. (My husband likes corn, but he does not like to eat it off the cob…hates to get butter in his beard and mustache. So I cut the kernels off the ear. Really very simple).
Allow the vegetables to cook together for another five minutes. You should be able to pierce the onion and zucchini easily with a fork). Then take the pan off the heat top with some cheese and let sit with the lid on until you are ready to serve (ten minutes).
That’s it. Easy and delicious. And you can toss in small amounts of other vegetables as they come into season.
Ingredients for Zucchini Spaghetti
1 pint of cherry tomatoes
1 or 2 zucchini (thin enough to fit in the zucchini cutting gadget)
Zucchini Spaghetti is made using a little hand held gadget that cuts a zucchini into thin spaghetti. Cut the end of the zucchini off and twist the vegetable through the gadget, Turn the vegetable, not the gadget. It comes out like spaghetti.
Some people eat nothing but zucchini noodles in this dish. I like to mix half zucchini spaghetti and half pasta for a filling dish.
Begin by making the zucchini spaghetti.
Next, in a frying pan big enough to include the zucchini spaghetti and pasta, fry a small pint box of cherry tomatoes that have been cut in half in about 1/4 cup of olive oil with a tablespoon of butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. (Some of Our Yards Farm’s basil salt would be lovely in here and her dried Italian herbs as well).
Let everything cook down on medium until the tomatoes collapse. Stir so nothing sticks to the pan or burns. Then toss the zucchini spaghetti into the pan with the tomatoes.
Meanwhile boil the pasta.
Cook the zucchini “noodles” in the tomatoes until they are a little limp and transparent. Use tongs to flip the zucchini into the tomato sauce.
When the pasta is done, drop it into the pan with the tomatoes and zucchini and add about 1/4 cup of pasta water. Mix together and pour it all into a serving dish, sprinkle with parmesan. Serve.
Easy and tasty. Even the kids will like it.
And finally. When the zucchini is BIG, our favorite Z Bread. I’ve been making it for over 35 years and it never fails to please. Here is a link to it on this blog.
“Last night we had three small zucchini for dinner that were grown within fifty feet of our back door. I estimate they cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $371.49 each.” -Andy Rooney
Zucchini is plentiful, beautiful, healthy, and available by the truckload at the farmers’ market.
zucchini – AT Buzby, Savoie, Viereck, Springdale
onions – Savoie, AT Buzby, Formisano, Flaim
tomatoes – Springdale, AT Buzby, Viereck
spices – Our Yards Farm
butter – Hillacres Pride
olive oil – Villa Barone (and pasta!)
corn – AT Buzby, Viereck