Thursday, June 23, 2011

Help! My counter has been overtaken by the zucchini...

This is the second summer that I have tried my hand at home gardening. It's still a live-and-learn experience, but I have to say that my (not always so very) green thumb and I have come a long ways from the tomato, bell pepper, and squash garden last year. I began my summer with onion, mustard greens, and radishes. My lettuce just recently went "to seed" and yes, it only took one bite for me to completely understand what that phrase means! yuck!! My tomatoes are thriving along with cucumber, bell pepper, corn, butternut squash, and a sprawling watermelon plant. My focus right now, though is zucchini... wow! Again, I am pretty hands off except for the most obvious watering and fertilizing "work" of a garden, but I think that something was done right...

This is a picture from week 1 of "the zucchini", June 2011

Several weeks later, July 2011. Needless to say lesson #2 from this summer is: Never turn your back on a baby zucchini! 

This is just a collection of recipes focusing on using a zucchini in as many ways as possible. Mission: get it off my counter!!

1. Zucchini (Baked) Fry Rounds -the fry goes green a Balance & Energy recipe

     2. Zucchini Bread -introducing the ultimate moisture keeper, adapted from Oh She Glows' Oil Free Zucchini Walnut Raisin Loaf
  • I later learned that you need to squeeze out the zucchini shreds before you add them to the bowl, not doing so will leave you with a loaf that is more of a moist brownie consistency. Next time, I will also add more raisins.

3. Baked Zucchini Cakes by Balance & Energy
adapted from Zucchini Fritters by My Little Kitchen

4. Stuffed Zucchini by Balance & Energy
adapted from Stuffed Zucchini Bowls by Kaylyn's Kitchen

5. Oven Roasted Ratatouille adapted from Chocolate & Zucchini

- I used her exact recipe adding a yellow squash, mushrooms, and tomato. It is extremely important that the vegetables roast flat. If they are piled on top of each other, use two pans or one bigger one.

Other recipes zucchini recipes that I did not test but look good:

*FYI: I discovered that you can grind and freeze 2 1/2 cup portion sizes of zucchini to have for the winter when you want to bake zucchini cake or zucchini bread; defrost; drain off excess moisture and you end up with 2 cups of zucchini called for in most recipes. I am trying this because, really you saw my counter, what do I have to lose?! I don't have a great track record when it comes to freezing vegetables, we shall see. If you want to try your own version, I blanched mine for 5 minutes followed by a 3 minute ice bath before freezing