WAYYYYYYYYYYYY TO MUCH SQUASH
I would like to take this opportunity to publicly apologise to my CSA members. You have been inundated with bags and bags of squash. And I was concerned about the full acre of squash I lost to the critters-----what was I complaining about?
This year we grew green bennings tint, yellow sunburst, pear, white bush scallop, yellow gold rush zucchini, black zucchini, yellow eight ball, green eight ball, costata romanesco, round d' nice, regular ole green zucchini, crookneck, and the straight neck early prolific yellow squash. Winter squash, yet to come will include buttercup, hubbards, spaghetti, turks turban and acorn.
There are entire cookbooks dedicated to the cucurbit that invades our homes every summer. LOCK YOUR DOORS!
My grandmother gave me a favorite zucchini cookbook of hers years ago that I treasure. It's pages are yellowed with time. It's corners are rounded. Old, dried, grated zucchini is stuck to several of my favorite recipe pages.
So load up on this prolific vegetable and make something good!
It freezes so easily, just grate, let drain in a colander and put in freezer bags. You can have zucchini bread, pancakes, or muffins all winter long!
Here are just a few of my favorite ways to prepare zucchini.
Note about brown rice: Here's a suggestion of mine that saves me time. Buy a 1 lb bag of brown rice. Add a pkg. of wild rice mix to it. Cook up a big batch and just have it refrigerated ready to pull out and use, try adding a can of black beans to the cooked rice.
grate zucchini, add 1/2 ratio bread crumbs to zucchini, add enough eggs to form a moist dough. Fry on a hot griddle.
BREADED ZUCCHINI: Mix equal parts flour, cornmeal and bread crumbs in a large bowl. Slice zucchini into 1/4 inch rounds and dip in egg. Coat with crumbs and fry on a griddle with real butter. For a healthier version try this. Cut into 1/2 inch rounds brush with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with mixture (recipe below) and bake 10 minutes in a 425 degree oven. Turn rounds over applying oil and mixture. Return to oven and bake an additional 10 minutes.
MIXTURE: 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup wheat germ, 1/2 cup sesame seeds 1 tsp. chili powder and 1/2 tsp. salt. mix and put in a shaker bottle. Refrigerator left over seasoning.
You might also try a sprinkling of dry powder ranch dip mix instead.
ZUCCHINI ROUNDS: slice a zucchini into 1/2 inch slices. Do not cook. Spread cream cheese that you have added garlic salt and Italian Seasoning to on each slice. Add cooked and crumbled bacon over top. Makes a great appetizer or side dish.
STUFFED SQUASH BLOSSOMS: Pick your blossoms early in the morning. Only pick the male blossoms leaving the female blossoms so you will have a crop. Watch for bees in the blossoms. Place blossoms in a plastic bag and refrigerate until you are ready to use. Make a simple batter of equal parts flour and cornmeal. Add a pinch of baking soda. pour in enough water to make a medium batter. Stuff blossoms with herbed goat cheese. Carefully twist the petals together at the end of the flower. Coat with batter and deep fry until golden brown. These are delicious!
Cut zucchini in half length-wise. Scoop out seeds (discard if to large) and pulp (reserve), leaving about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of flesh. Place in a large skillet, cut side down. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Simmer, covered for 6-10 minutes. Or bake on a cookie sheet for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile cut pulp and add other desired ingredients. Cook ingredients if necessary (meat or rice) before stuffing. Add ingredients to zucchini and bake for 20-30 minutes.
VARIATIONS YOU MAY LIKE TO TRY:
SAUSAGE AND EGG: for a delicious breakfast prepare the stuffed zucchini the previous night and pop in the oven for 30 minutes or microwave until heated through.
While squash is steaming chop pulp and saute with the sausage, when fully cooked add beaten eggs (use 2 eggs for each 1/2 squash) and cook until the eggs are just set. Add chopped pimentos or sun dried tomatoes. Scoop mixture into zucchini shells and bake 20 minutes.
RICE: Saute the pulp with your favorite meat and vegetables, or just vegetables, and add pre-cooked brown or wild rice, mix in thickened vegetable or chicken broth, season to taste. Add mixture to shells and bake 30 minutes.
BULGAR: Mix the chopped pulp, 1/2 cup reconstituted bulgar, 1/2 cup chopped day old wheat bread for each 1/2 large zucchini. 1/4 cup each for a small one. Season to taste.
Sprinkle cheese over-top and bake 20 minutes. This is quite dry so serve with a good homemade gravy , add chopped, cooked bacon and sun-dried tomatoes.
MUSHROOM AND SPINACH: 1 cup minced onions, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 tsp olive oil, 3 cups chopped portabella mushrooms, caps and stems, 1 tsp dill, 2 tsp soy sauce and zucchini pulp. Saute until onions and zucchini are tender. While ingredients are sauteing, steam spinach until wilted. Add to the onion and mushrooms. Stir in 1 cup pre cooked brown rice. Place in zucchini shells and arrange in a deep baking dish. Pour 1 cup of tomato juice in the bottom of the baking dish and grate cheese over top. Continue baking 30 minutes.
Add chopped zucchini to your favorite salmon roll or meat loaf recipe.
GRILLED ZUCCHINI: the 8 ball zucchini are purposely left to grow to a large size. Slice thick, marinate in Italian dressing and grill.
SOUTHEAST ASIAN COCONUT ZUCCHINI: Serves 4
At market Angela told me about using coconut milk with the squash and how delicious it was. I found this recipe in the MOOSEWOOD COOKBOOK.
4 to 5 cups cubed zucchini
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp coconut oil
2 chopped scallions
2 tbs. fresh lime juice
2 tbs each chopped fresh basil and mint
1/4 to 1/2 cup coconut milk
In a skillet, saute the zucchini, garlic, and turmeric in the coconut oil for 5 minutes. Stir constantly. Add scallions, lime juice, basil, mint, and coconut milk. Cover and cook on low heat for 10 minutes, until the zucchini is tender. Stir occasionally add a splash of water if necessary to keep from sticking. Add salt to taste. The turmeric turns the zucchini a lovely yellow.
Try canning the zucchini, make relish, pickles, ect.
Above are just a few recipes. I'll post more during the winter when I am using the grated, frozen zucchini. Only a few more deliveries of summer squash! HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!!