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Zucchini

I know that zucchini is often grated into foods, used as filling, grilled and used as a semi-meat substitute, etc., but I *love* the vegetable, and think it's oft-abused. Does anyone have any recipes that accentuate, not mask, the flavor of zucchini?

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  1. Sauteeing slices in olive oil/butter with just a touch of oregano or basil, and S&P, will bring out the zucchininess, as much as it can be brought out! It is a pretty, mild unassuming little vegetable. Sort of the Mr. Peepers of the vegie world.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Seldomsated

      This is EXACTLY how I make my favorite zucchini dish. I often top with grated parm and always use crushed garlic for additional happiness. You can roast zuke also along with red peppers, onion chunks, eggplant hunks- I have a lousy oven (and I live in FL) so I'll sometimes make these into kabobs and have my Grill "Master" make nice with them. I prep-he grills, it works well.

    2. I like to make lasagna substituting squash for the noodles. I cut long and thin and grill briefly for flavor and to reduce moisture

      1 Reply
      1. re: coastie

        We shave it into linguine-sized ribbons, saute w/garlic and serve with basil pesto. Tastes like summertime!

      2. Very lightly dredge through flour, dip in beaten egg, and fry till golden brown. The egg and flour add to the flavor rather than mask it.

        1. I love grilled zucchini. Slice in half lengthwise, season with a touch of oil, soy sauce, salt and pepper and grill. So good!

          Another great thing to do with zucchini is make zucchini bread. There's a good recipe for zucchini bread in the Silver Palate Cookbook.

          1. Stuffed Zucchini
            Serves: 4

            Ingredients:

            • 4 small zucchini (2 to 2½ pound)
            • 5 Tablespoons butter
            • 1 pound Ground breakfast pork sausage
            • 5 Tablespoons heavy cream
            • 2 Tablespoons parsley, minced
            • ½ cup breadcrumbs
            • 3 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
            • ¼ teaspoon salt
            • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
            • ⅛ teaspoon white pepper
            • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
            • ⅛ teaspoon dried rosemary
            • ⅛ teaspoon thyme
            • ½ cup chicken stock

            Method:

            1. Wash, dry, and trim off the ends of the zucchini, then cut in half lengthwise.
            2. Carefully scoop out the pulp with a teaspoon, leaving the outer skin and about ⅛ inch of flesh intact for stuffing.
            3. In a black cast iron pot, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and add the zucchini pulp. Cook slowly over low-medium heat until quite soft and wilted.
            4. Fry the ground sausage in another skillet until it is just turning brown. Drain off fat.
            5. Add the sausage to the zucchini pulp in the black pot. Turn the heat to low.
            6. Add 2 tablespoons of heavy cream, parsley, breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese, salt, black pepper, cayenne, rosemary, thyme and garlic. Cook about 4 minutes, stirring constantly.
            7. Fill the zucchini halves with the cooked mixture, distributing it evenly, then butter a large shallow baking dish and carefully arrange the zucchini in it.
            8. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon cheese and 3 tablespoons of butter and top with the remaining 3 tablespoons of heavy cream.
            9. Pour the chicken stock into the pan around the zucchini, taking care not to wet the stuffing.
            10. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for about 30 minutes, or until the zucchini are tender when pierced with a fork and the filling is golden brown on top.
            11. Remove the zucchini carefully with a large slotted spoon or spatula, allowing the liquid to drain back into the pan.
            12. Serve immediately

            1 Reply
            1. re: speyerer

              stuffed zucchini with ground meat as one of the ingredients

            2. Polenta Francesca: totally invented, but family's fave. Sliced polenta (either home made or store bought tube), sauteed zucchini slices, and gorgonzola layered in individual serving dishes with basic tomato sauce seasoned with rosemary on top and some parm. Bake. The combination of a little fresh rosemary, blue cheese and zucchini is really good. Sometimes I add mozzerella to melt into a creamier sauce. Sometimes i make tomato sauce sometimes I use a nasty can, it doesn't seem to matter much.

              1. In recipes there is a nice salad, using thinly sliced raw zucchini.

                http://www.chow.com/recipes/10981

                1. Based on a recipe from Mollie Katzen.
                  Cut the zucchini into quarters lengthwise and slice out the seedy part. Preheat broiler. Heat a generous amount of olive oil in an ovenproof saute pan. Add garlic, cook breifly, then seasoned zucchini skin side up. Cook over med til lightly golden, careful not to scorch the garlic. Flip the squash, sprinkle with breadcrums and parmesan cheese, and broil until crusty and golden. Yum. Make at least one zucchini per person!

                  1. whenever i get a hold of my aunt's homegrown zucchini, i slice it up and stir fry it with some beef, onions, mushrooms, sesame oil, garlic, soy sauce, sugar and black pepper. just a little of all the additional vegetables and beef so that the star of the show is the zucchini.

                    1. Zucchini ribbons with sea salt and a drizzle of your favorite olive oil is as basic a recipe as you can get. The two added ingredients, if used sparingly, will not mask the flavor of the zucchini itself, but will certainly help flavor an otherwise bland blanched squash.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Cheese Boy

                        I stumbled across this thread and thought I would bump it to suggest zucchini soup. I have a great recipe that showcases that subtle zucchini flavour. Kinda like gazpacho without the tomato, and not cold :-).

                        1. re: grayelf

                          Such a tease...please share :)

                          1. re: enbell

                            My bad -- that was my first post here and I should have realized this IS the place to share methods!

                            Herbed zucchini soup

                            1 tbsp butter
                            1 tbsp vegetable oil
                            1 onion, chopped
                            2 cloves garlic, minced
                            6 zucchini, finely chopped (I used 3 lbs or 9 cups)
                            3 cups chicken stock
                            2 tsp sugar
                            1 tbsp lemon juice
                            1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
                            1/2 cup sour cream
                            paprika and basil leaves for garnishing

                            Heat butter and oil in saucepan. Saute onion and garlic over medium heat till softened. Stir in zucchini, stock, sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes or until zucchini is tender. Add basil. Use a blender or food processor and add small batches until smooth. You can freeze the soup for up to two months at this point. Return mixture to pan and reheat gently. To serve, add a dollop of sour cream, sprinkle with paprika and garnish with basil leaf.

                            Makes 4 servings – freezes well.

                            1. re: grayelf

                              Thank you, it looks relatively simple and definitely tasty :)

                      2. my simple way (ok, my mom's simply way) of preparing zucchini is to stir fry them with just oil, garlic, and salt. That's it! You can also add a little fish sauce to add umami and/or small chilli to add some spicyness.

                        Adding tiny bits of fried pork jowls or bacon will give it some extra crunch and texture and enhance the color and flavor of the dish too.

                        1. We recently began thinly slicing raw zuke and red bell pepper and having them with hummus over them as a kind of raw "pasta".

                          1. I find this recipe when I was looking for ways to use up the tons of zucchini my garden produced. Its a light recipe, but I add more cheese and use real sour cream. I'm making it this weekend for a catering job( vegetarian option). I used veg broth instead of chicken broth.

                            Ingredients
                            8 cups sliced zucchini(about 2 1/2 pounds)
                            1 cup chopped onion
                            1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
                            2 cups cooked rice ( I use brown)
                            1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
                            1 cup fat-free sour cream ( I use full fat or light)
                            1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
                            1/4 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
                            1 teaspoon salt
                            1/4 teaspoon black pepper
                            2 large eggs, lightly beaten
                            Cooking spray

                            Preparation
                            Preheat oven to 350°.
                            1.Combine first 3 ingredients in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil.
                            2.Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until tender. Drain; partially mash with a potato masher.

                            3.Combine zucchini mixture, rice, cheddar cheese, sour cream, 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and eggs in a bowl; stir gently.
                            4.Spoon mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese.
                            5. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

                            Preheat broiler. Broil 1 minute or until lightly browned.

                            1. How crazy is it that I saw this thread bumped up...

                              this recipe from elise -- http://www.elise.com/recipes/archives...

                              two zucchinis in the fridge...

                              and no plans for dinner.

                              1. When the garden has a lot of zucchini I like to make a fine julienne (using a V-slicer or I guess you could grate it), put it in a colander with enough salt to make the juices run (I use about a teaspoonful for a full colander), leave for about 20 minutes, then press out as much liquid as you can. I usually taste to make sure it isn't too salty, if it is, I run some clear water over it, press and taste again (it usually isn't too much for my taste). I then briefly saute it in a little olive oil (really just get it warm, it should be al dente). You could add a little shallot or onion minced fine (or garlic) before the Zucchini, or add some fresh chopped herbs (I like something mild like chives or parsley), but it is fine with just essence of Zucchini. I like other, more complicated or fattening Zucchini preparations as well, but this just screams summer to me when I keep it very simple.

                                1. My mom makes this dish called Zucchini in Purgatory (well, purgatorio since we're from Italy). You just slice up a zucchini or two into thin rounds, then cook in a pan with olive oil and garlic until everything's coated and the garlic is brown and fragrant. Then pour a little bit of water, just so most of the zucchini is covered, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes until tender. In the meantime, beat up an egg or two add a bit of grated parmesan and season. Once the 10-15 minutes are up, pour the eggs over the zucchini and let cook through.

                                  My mom likes to eat it with some bread...I like it with rice.

                                  Yum.

                                  1. We like a very simple recipe from the Smitten Kitchen that is just zucchini, olive oil, almonds and salt and pepper. The zucchini is the star. So simple and so good.

                                    Here it is: http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/08/my-...

                                    1. I just used to slice it, flour it, fry it in butter and serve with dipping sauces. But found a new way and that is I make zucchini pancakes.
                                      grate your zucchini, add an egg, salt & pepper. form patties, and dip in flour. fry in butter till crisp on both sides. I also put crab meat in them once too. that was good

                                      1. Stuffed Zucchini
                                        Serves: 4

                                        A little work, but it tastes so good. A great recipe if you are growing zucchini in your garden.

                                        Ingredients:
                                        • 4 small zucchini (2 to 2½ pound)
                                        • 5 Tablespoons butter
                                        • 1 pound ground breakfast pork sausage
                                        • 5 Tablespoons heavy cream
                                        • 2 Tablespoons parsley, minced
                                        • ½ cup breadcrumbs
                                        • 3 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
                                        • ¼ teaspoon salt
                                        • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
                                        • ⅛ teaspoon white pepper
                                        • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
                                        • ⅛ teaspoon dried rosemary
                                        • ⅛ teaspoon thyme
                                        • ½ cup chicken stock

                                        Method:
                                        1. Wash, dry, and trim off the ends of the zucchini, then cut in half lengthwise.
                                        2. Carefully scoop out the pulp with a teaspoon, leaving the outer skin and about ⅛ inch of flesh intact for stuffing.
                                        3. In a black cast iron pot, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and add the zucchini pulp. Cook slowly over low-medium heat until quite soft and wilted.
                                        4. Fry the ground sausage in another skillet until it is just turning brown. Drain off fat.
                                        5. Add the sausage to the zucchini pulp in the black pot. Turn the heat to low.
                                        6. Add 2 tablespoons of heavy cream, parsley, breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese, salt, black pepper, cayenne, rosemary, thyme and garlic. Cook about 4 minutes, stirring constantly.
                                        7. Fill the zucchini halves with the cooked mixture, distributing it evenly, then butter a large shallow baking dish and carefully arrange the zucchini in it.
                                        8. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon cheese and 3 tablespoons of butter and top with the remaining 3 tablespoons of heavy cream.
                                        9. Pour the chicken stock into the pan around the zucchini, taking care not to wet the stuffing.
                                        10. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for about 30 minutes, or until the zucchini are tender when pierced with a fork and the filling is golden brown on top.
                                        11. Remove the zucchini carefully with a large slotted spoon or spatula, allowing the liquid to drain back into the pan.
                                        12. Serve immediately.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: speyerer

                                          I like it sauteed with onions, and then cooked in tomato sauce (or chopped tomatoes, or whatever) or sauteed in butter and tossed with pasta or quinoa. The little, crunchy zucchini are best for both of these.

                                        2. My favorite way to cook zucchini (which I, too, love) is to saute in olive oil and then top with grated parmesan cheese and salt and pepper. Or braised with lots of garlic. Both are simple, delicious!

                                          I also love zucchini fritters/cakes. I have a Tex-Mex-inspired zucchini and corn cake recipe that I serve with cilantro-lime cream.

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: VikingKvinna

                                            OMG! That sounds sooo good! Could you post the recipe for the zucchini cakes and cilantro-lime cream, please??

                                            1. re: carriesn

                                              Sure! I was at work earlier and didn't have it handy or would have posted right away. =)

                                              Corn and Zucchini Cakes

                                              1.5 c. masa harina
                                              .5 cup a/p flour
                                              1 t. baking powder
                                              1 t. salt
                                              .5 cup grated parmesan
                                              1 t garlic powder
                                              1 t. cumin
                                              .5 t chili powder

                                              2 c. fresh corn kernels
                                              3 c. shredded zucchini or summer squash or a mixture (squeeze excess H20)
                                              2 eggs, beaten
                                              ~1 cup milk
                                              .25 cup green onion, sliced, or chopped white onion
                                              ~1 jalepeno, diced - more if you like heat, of course

                                              Mix dry ingredients. In separate bowl, mix wet ingredients. Combine the two mixtures and fry in patties in a smidgen of oil of your choice. Serve with:

                                              Cilantro-Lime Cream

                                              1 c. Mexican crema or sour cream
                                              juice of one lime (less if using crema, and use some zest too)
                                              chopped cilantro to taste (I like a lot - you can also put it in the cakes batter too)
                                              salt and pepper to taste.

                                              Enjoy! Zuke and corn are plentiful here right around my birthday (mid-August) so this is always a birthday week treat for me.

                                              .5 t oregano

                                              1. re: VikingKvinna

                                                Does anyone else think that cooked zucchini sometimes tastes faintly of fish? I do and therefore have decided that I much prefer it raw with good olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and some sort of soft cheese.

                                                1. re: pamplemouse

                                                  True 'dat, pamplemouse. I especially notice if it is a whole zuke baked and served plain (something I do occasionally upon which my SO looks askance -- he gets green beans!). I still like it but I know just what you mean...

                                                  1. re: pamplemouse

                                                    It's a mild vegetable. Do you cook it in canola oil? That can taste mildly fishy.

                                            2. Last month's Bon Appetit has a lovely zucchini and green bean dish with an Italian green sauce - brings out the vegetables' flavor and accentuates with the herbs. Was very successful as part of Sat. nite dinner and delicious leftover. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                              1. I can think of no simpler way of eating it than this: http://thepauperedchef.com/2007/06/iv...

                                                I haven't tried this particular recipe, but I've tried many others. I love this guy and his way of writing and budgeting himself. I hope you find what you're looking for.

                                                1. Just last night I made Indian style dry curry with tender young zucchini and edamame. I probably had about 3-4 cups of sliced (combo or rounds and half moons) zucchini which I browned lightly on a hot cast iron griddle. Some slices just got brown specks and did not cook through which is okay. In a saute pan, heated some oil on medium heat. Added one sweet onion chopped and sweated it for about 5 mins. Then added a large pinch each of cumin and coriander powder. Sauteed another 5 mins. Add 1 fat minced garlic clove and the browned zucchini slices. Stir about. Add about a cup of frozen shelled edamame, salt and cayenne to taste and a large pinch of your favorite garam masala. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. The moisture from the veggies was enough to cook them both through without scorching. You may need to add a tablespoon or two of water to keep things happy. Taste and adjust salt. Turn off heat, add chopped cilantro. Serve with rice and daal or roti. Leftovers made it into a quesadilla for lunch.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: sweetTooth

                                                    SweeTooth, I think you've just set the menu for our dinner tonight (along with some grilled chicken and some rice).

                                                    1. re: junescook

                                                      Yay! Glad to hear. Just to gild the lily (actually, for a little moisture especially when serving with rotis only) I sometimes add a few tbsps of cream or half and half. But certainly not essential. And that would make it harder to use leftovers in quesadillas. They were delicious even cold, BTW. :)

                                                  2. Saute zucchini, mushrooms, red bell peppers, onions, and garlic with a little oil and cayenne! Serve with brown rice, rice pasta, or quinoa with hummus or guacamole.

                                                    1. Saute zucchini sliced into rounds in olive oil on medium to medium-low heat with a bit of chopped onion and bell pepper until beginning to soften, add a clove of chopped garlic, and a couple of handfuls of halved cherry tomatoes, add a pinch of oregano, some S&P, stir, reduce to low and cover. Continue to cook until zukes are tender. Serve over orzo or rice with a little good parmesan grated over, and a basil chiffonade if you have it.

                                                      1. i slice it into 1/8 -1/4 inch rounds, then rub with garlic and sprinkle with onion salt. spread on a roasting pan sprayed. roast til golden and browning near edges. place them in the bottoms of mini muffin cups dusted with cornmeal. saute some onions and garlic with some mushrooms. let cool slightly. beat eggs with milk (regular, skim, soy, almond, rice, whatever), salt pepper, herbs of choice, then layer onions/veg over zucchini and pour eggs over. bake til set.

                                                        1. I almost hate to add this one as it is so far from gourmet.... whatever.

                                                          This is my favourite Saturday breakfast

                                                          Saute onions pepper and zuccini in pesto (just a bit - a tablespoon) add S&P
                                                          I use lots of zuccini
                                                          When it looks done dump two beaten eggs to it.
                                                          Toss it around till the eggs are done
                                                          Sprinkle feta on it.

                                                          That's it. It's not really scrambled eggs cause they are not the main ingredient. It's more like sautéed zucchini with a bit of egg. Call it what you like but I love it and it's good for you.

                                                          1. Young zucchini, about 5 inches long. Take off the stem, and any hard disc at the blossom end, and split in half lengthwise. Parboil or steam just until they get a little floppy, but the squash is still pretty crunchy. Lay them in a dish, cover generously with thin-sliced onion (preferably red), and drown them in a homemade vinaigrette (add some thyme if it isn't already in the dressing). Keeps for days (gets better, in fact), but only needs to rest for a couple of hours in the fridge before eating.