you backing away when someone tries to give you
a friend gave me a 20-pound box of zucchini, I was in an
upper ring of Zucchini Heaven.
I dug through my mother’s old Farm Journal canning book
and made a double batch of what are basically zucchini
bread-and-butter pickles, a little sweet, with the fragrance
of celery and mustard seeds. From another canning book, I
followed (loosely) a recipe for zucchini chow chow. Then I
had to get really creative.
turns out zucchini works for every meal of the day. For a
Saturday breakfast, we had zucchini pancakes from Mark
Bittman’s "How to Cook Everything." I squeezed
out excess liquid before mixing in the other ingredients and
let the mixture sit a few minutes before forming the cakes.
It was a quick and easy breakfast with a little low-fat
yogurt on the side.
lunch, we put some of those zucchini pickles and relish on
our sandwiches. (I also love to grill a couple zucchini cut
into quarter-inch slabs, which I can keep in the
refrigerator for salads during the week.)
searched through the kitchen gadgets at TJ Maxx until I
found a spiralizer, one of those cutters that turns
vegetables into curly strands, for less than 10 bucks. That
opened up vast possibilities for dinners besides the
night, we had a simple zucchini salad, cut in spirals and
tossed with fresh lemon juice and a little olive oil. The
crowning dinner event was Zucchini Pad Thai, with spiralized
zucchini standing in for the noodles. A quick sauté
softened them without making them limp and unappealing. A
sauce came together easily with natural peanut butter (which
I substituted for the ketchup called for in the recipe),
fish sauce, and a few other ingredients I always have on
hand. I crisp-fried some tofu as a protein and we enjoyed a
tasty, nutritious dinner.
what’s dinner without dessert? I whipped up a zucchini
cake, similar to carrot cake: shredded zucchini, spices,
chopped nuts. It calls for a cup of oil, but dedicated
gleaner that I am, I had some mashed banana in the freezer.
(I never let those mushy Costco bananas go to waste!) I
substituted a 1/2 cup of mashed banana for half of the oil.
It made a rich, tender cake that lasted well.
weekend, you can sneak those zucchini onto your neighbor’s
porch if you’d like. But if you keep them for yourself,
there’s plenty you can do with them.
"Farm Journal Freezing and Canning Cookbook"
quarts sliced, unpeeled zucchini
quart onions, sliced
quart distilled white vinegar
teaspoons celery seed
teaspoon ground mustard
zucchini and onions in a large, heatproof bowl. Combine
vinegar, sugar, salt and spices in a large pot or Dutch
oven. Bring to a boil; pour over zucchini and onions and let
stand 1 hour.
deep pot with a rack with water and bring to a boil. Wash 6
to 7 pint canning jars well and fill with hot water. Wash
rings and new canning lids.
the zucchini and onion mixture to the pot, bring to a boil
again and cook for 3 minutes.
the hot water out of the jars and divide the zucchini and
onion mixture between the hot jars. Immediately top with the
lids and rings. Using tongs, lower the jars into the boiling
water bath and process for 5 minutes. Use tongs to remove
the jars and place on a dish towel. Let stand until cool,
then check to make sure the lids are sealed.
PAD THAI "ZOODLES"
2 medium zucchini
tablespoons olive oil, divided
pound firm tofu, sliced
large cloves garlic, minced or crushed
red bell pepper, seeded and sliced thin
green onions, sliced
2 cups bean sprouts
cup roasted peanuts
cup chopped cilantro (optional)
lime wedges for serving (optional)
tablespoons rice vinegar or distilled white vinegar
tablespoons fish sauce or to taste
tablespoons peanut butter
teaspoon packed brown sugar
teaspoon cayenne pepper or 1 small red chile, sliced
teaspoon chile garlic sauce, or to taste
the sauce: In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, fish sauce,
peanut butter, brown sugar, cayenne pepper and chile garlic
sauce. Set aside.
the zucchini into noodles or long pasta using a vegetable
spiralizer or sharp vegetable peeler.
large pan on medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Add zucchini noodles and cook 2-3 minutes or until tender.
(Don’t overcook. The zucchini should be slightly crunchy.)
Let the noodles rest for about 3 minutes to allow as much
moisture as possible to release. Remove the noodles from the
pan and drain.
small skillet, heat about 2 teaspoons of oil over
medium-high heat. Add the tofu slices and cook about 4
minutes, until it’s brown and releases from the skillet.
Turn over and cook on the other side. Remove to a plate, cut
into cubes and let stand.
out the pan you used for the zucchini, then reheat on medium
high heat. Add the remaining olive oil and garlic. Cook the
garlic until soft, about 30 seconds. Add the tofu and cook,
turning, until crisp on both sides.
the bell peppers and green onions. Cook for about 1-2
minutes or until tender. Add the egg and stir in with the
vegetables until the egg is cooked.
the zucchini noodles to the pan, stir in the cooked tofu and
add the sauce. Cook about 1 minute, until heated through.
Stir in bean sprouts.
topped with roasted peanuts, cilantro and lime wedges.
teaspoons cinnamon (or use a mix of spices such as allspice
teaspoons baking soda
teaspoon baking powder
teaspoon vanilla extract
teaspoon grated lemon zest (optional)
(from 3-4 zucchini) grated zucchini (squeeze out moisture
chopped walnuts or pecans
cup golden raisins (optional)
ounces cream cheese, room temperature
cup butter, room temperature
to 2 cups powdered sugar
oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 13-by-9-inch baking pan or a
medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking
soda, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
the eggs on high speed with an electric mixer until frothy.
Lower the speed and beat in the sugar, vegetable oil,
vanilla and lemon zest (if using). Stir in the flour mixture
a third at a time. Stir in the zucchini and chopped nuts
mixture into the prepared pan. Bake 40 to 45 minutes. Remove
from oven and cool completely before frosting.
make the frosting, beat together the cream cheese and
butter. Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
the cake and serve.