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What do I do with to much zuccini

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  1. sorry I hit enter before explaining my situation. We have been gone for a week and when we came back my zuccini plants had several 4-5 lb zuccini on them and know I don't know what to do with all of them. Most people I try to give them to think they are to big and will taste poorly, and we have already made several loaves of zuccini bread. can I freeze them? if so how?

    9 Replies
    1. re: bodine07

      I find this question so funny. I have the same problem because I planted from seed and ended up with five plants. I made ratatouille and froze it. Lasagna as well. I Guess you can also do Moussaka which freezes well, but way too much work. I made some Zucchini mint salad...but you get sick of it after eating it once. I also found this great recipe below. But I find it taste better with a bit of raw garlic at the end and really drain out the zucchini because it keeps watering as you make the sauce.

      Yogurt-zucchini farfalle

      • 1 lb (450 g) farfalle (bowtie pasta), preferably whole wheat
      • 3 zucchini, trimmed, coarsely shredded (I used one huge zucchini)
      • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
      • 1 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
      • 1 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano + more for serving
      • Freshly grated nutmeg
      • Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper

      In large pot of boiling salted water, cook farfalle 9 minutes. Add zucchini. Cook 1 minute. Drain well, reserving 1/4 cup pasta cooking water. Return pasta and zucchini to pot.

      Meanwhile, in small bowl, stir together butter, yogurt and 1 cup cheese. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add to pasta mixture, along with reserved cooking liquid. Cook over low heat, tossing, until sauce coats pasta. Season well with salt and pepper.

      Serve with extra cheese. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

      1. re: bodine07

        Excellent ideas here: we have to try the "pasta" idea. In our neighborhood, chutney's, pies and preserves (e.g. zucchini/rhubarb/strawberry) are popular methods of storing, then disposing (party/thank you gifts to friends) of excess zucchini.

        1. re: bodine07

          In answer to your question about freezing - the zucchini breads, yes, the zucchini, no. I make zucchini muffins all summer long and throw them in the freezer. They thaw easily and are great in the winter. Every other way I've frozen zucchini itself I end up with a watery mess.

          1. re: lupaglupa

            I freeze zucchini breads/muffins all summer long and I agree, they freeze well. (I love zucchini pineapple bread!)

            But I've also had good luck freezing zucchini. I grate or shred the zucchini (by hand or in the food processor) and then plop it into a colander that's been lined with a couple layers of paper towels. After a bit of draining, I pat the zucchini dry and then measure it out in packed one-cup portions (usually heaping cups, to make-up for some of the moisture that'll be lost). I freeze the portions in zippered freezer bags, stacked flat on a baking sheet.

            When I want to use the zucchini later, I take out a bag and dump the contents into the colander, which again has been lined with several layers of paper towels. I let it thaw and then lift out the zucchini, squeezing out the moisture, and place it on another couple of paper towels. I basically enfold the zucchini and squeeze/twist again to get rid of the remaining fluid, and then use the zucchini in the recipe.

            This works best with breads/muffins, but I've also used it in pasta sauces and other dishes.

            1. re: ElsieDee

              I'm getting more zucchini than I can handle--about 6-8 per week for about six weeks now-- in my CSA box. That would be okay, except that I'm also getting more tomatoes than I can handle and more cukes than I can handle, along with many other fruits and veggies. Since the tomatoes are hard to keep (I'm not getting them in enough quantities to can them or anything) and the cukes are impossible to keep...I've decided to forget about trying to eat all of the zukes, just to save my sanity. So I'm doing something similar to what ElsieDee suggested and am shredding it in the food processor and freezing it in 2 cup increments in freezer bags.

              This winter, when I don't have an abundance of fresh veggies, I plan to start digging these bags out of the freezer and adding them to everything, soups, pasta sauces, breads and muffins, etc.

              I've not tried this before, so, we'll see!

              ~TDQ

              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                The zukes and 'maters cry out to be either slow roasted or stove top cooked with a ton of onion and garlic in olive oil- like a ratatouille/caponata. Google recipes to get ideas on the special add-ins like olives, capers, nuts, raisins, chocolate, etc. Just freeze the excess of whatever recipe you come up with in those wonderful cheepo containers they have now and you can enjoy the bounty when the winter chill hits. Plus that combo can be the start of a great fall soup with sausage, potato, pasta... As for the cukes- thin sliced on a mandoline, salted and lightly sugared, then vinegared for a quick pickle they keep for a good week in the fridge and once someone tastes and enjoys them- share the wealth. Check also Asian style quick (as in no canning just store in fridge) pickles.

          2. re: bodine07

            I like to let one or two get really huge- like 2 foot plus. They get hard and can be carved at Halloween like pumpkins, and the seeds roasted as well.

            1. re: bodine07

              I tried this zucchini-chocolate cake (with a nice touch of orange zest) last week, and it was great. I did add some bittersweet chocolate chips and substituted buttermilk for the milk. I didn't glaze it either--just powdered sugar dusted. I am sure this would freeze really well, and I would assume you can do two loafs rather than the bundt pan.
              Here's the link:
              http://www.elise.com/recipes/archives...

              1. re: bodine07

                The below is simple yet wondrous.

                ZUCCHINI CARPACCIO

                Ingredients (this recipe really calls for the freshest or best of ingredients):

                Fresh lemon juice
                Olive oil
                Zucchini
                Avocado
                Pine nuts
                Fresh thyme
                Salt and pepper

                In a small jar, combine a couple of tablespoons lemon juice with 1 teaspoon salt. Shake to blend. Add 1/2 cup of the best olive oil you have (or pistachio or walnut oil) and shake again to blend.

                Trim ends of 5-8 fresh zucchini. Slice lengthwise as thinly as possible. Place slices on one or two platters, drizzle the lemon mixture all over them and sprinkle with pine nuts, thyme, salt and pepper. Cover and let marinate up to an hour at room temp.

                When ready to serve, add avocado slices and sprinkle with goat cheese.

              2. I've had this same issue and my latest favorite thing has been to shred the zucchini (works fine with the big ones) and then salt and drain it, squeeze out the liquid, and saute with some onions. after that you can use it in an omelet or frittata, or in with some pasta, or whatever. I expect you should be able to freeze it as well, as long as it's already cooked.

                1. When I grew zucchini in my garden, I would let 2 of them get large, I would peel and seed them and cut "lasagna noodles" out of them, I would make lasagna without pasta noodles, using the zucchini noodles instead.

                  I did not cook the zucchini before layering.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Alan408

                    I pretty much do the same thing, but I do blanch the zucchini before using it as pasta noodles. I cut them into 1/3 in.lengthwise slices. I layer the lasagna with my fav sauce (which I add just 1/2 pound ground Italian sausage or grd. beef to) and sprinkle each layer with a really good fresh grated parm. I don't add any other cheese at all. Bake at 375 for about 35 min. You can also do this meatless which makes it an even lighter meal. We really love this dish. My zucchini plants all died this year( as did all my neightbors-some kind of blight)) so I don't have any zucchini at all and really miss it.

                    1. re: Alan408

                      I've used zucchini "noodles", too, but I slice them thin, brush with oil, season, bake at 200 for about half an hour until they're dry.

                      1. re: chowser

                        I love zucchini, I wish I had your problem of all problems to have. Anyhow, you could try a kind of Middle Eastern zucchini patty and serve it with minty cucumber yoghurt sauce (try a raita recipe). Here's a patty recipe:

                        Shred 1 lb. zucchini, sprinkle w/ salt and set on paper towels to get the water to come out. In a mixing bowl add 1/2 cup flour, 2 eggs, some type of chopped herb or a combination of them, like flat leaf parsely, cilantro, mint, about 1 hand full, salt, and a pinch of red chili flakes. Stir together to make a sticky batter, add in the zucchini (squeeze out the water as much as possible before hand). Let it rest for about 30 mins. Then shape in to flat patties like hamburger shape, and pan fry.

                    2. Watchtide's Lemon Blueberry Zucchini Bread is great. I cut the sugar by about 1/3 and it was great.

                      www.virtualcities.com/ons/me/c/mec590...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: sweetnspicy

                        second the use of zucchini noodles, except i make spirals using a spirulina slicer, then blanch and either toss w/ butter, garlic and parmesan, or with a pesto.

                        zucchini cakes
                        shredded zucchini, onion, eggs, bread crumbs/panko, seasonings, shredded carrots--make into patties and fry.

                        add to hamburger patties.

                        slice in half lengthwise and bake. scoop out pulp and make a souffle like filling in a food processor --bread crumbs, garlic, onion, parm, S & P-- or ham or tuna, mushrooms, parsley, worcestershire, gruyere, panko---or bread crumbs, shiitake mushrooms, soy sauce, tofu, bread crumbs, thyme, white wine, walnuts... stuff and rebake.

                        slice, batter, coat in panko/italian bread crumbs, and bake or fry.

                        waffles or pancakes (instead of bread)

                        souffle... cooked zucchini blended with egg (whites), lipton's onion soup mix, sour cream (fat free), ricotta (skim or fat free), salt and pepper... bake.

                      2. zucchini boats are good (stuffed zukes!) because you can use up several at once, especially if you're serving more than one person. stuff with any kind of cooked mixture.. i like to use veggies and herbs and bread crumbs and cheese.. or you can make some sort of rice stuffing.

                        1. Kim O'Donnel from the Washington Post brought "I-Can't-Believe-It's-Not-Crab Crab Cakes" into my life, and I'm forever grateful :) (grated zucchini in place of crab) Haven't tried the other recipes in the same entry, but they sound good....

                          http://blog.washingtonpost.com/mighty...

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: 4Snisl

                            I made a variation on her zucchini "crab" cakes last night; I also had some feta that I had cut for something else and needed to use, so I mashed the feta, used that in place of the mayo, and used some cayenne and freshly ground pepper instead of the Old Bay, and they were a really great dinner! I'll definitely try that again (and at some point I will really try her original recipe).

                          2. I asked a similar question a year or so ago. I get several eight-pound zuchinni a year from a loving friend with too much, and shred and freeze it, and then drain before using it in fritattas, pasta sauces, and baked goods. Here's the thread

                            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/314957

                            Actually, I was just shredding zuchinni to freeze before I sat down to read chowhound!