It’s that time of year when zucchini plants are going crazy in our gardens and on local farms. Inevitably, those of us who grow it often end up with so much of it that we give it away—it comes up faster than we can deal with it.
Does this sound like your situation? Well, we’ve got 15 tried-and-true zucchini recipes to help you out.
THE BEST ZUCCHINI FOR COOKING
My ideal zucchini for weeknight dinners is about an inch or two in diameter and about 8 to 10 inches long. I find the symmetry of this makes it easier to slice thinly and sauté in a pan with some olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt and pepper. The taste of it remains slightly sweet and vegetal.
And the seeds aren’t so big that they require extraction. This shape is also ideal for quartering it tossing it into pasta, for example. You want zucchini that’s firm and not showing any bruises from excessive handling.
WHAT TO DO WITH ENORMOUS ZUCCHINI
Anything much larger than 8 to 10 inches and you’re looking at zucchini not for zucchini’s sake in its simplified state, but for what else it can provide for you. You need its moisture more than anything, and some of its taste—but you aren’t going to get a good-tasting one that is this big. They tend to get watery, seedy, and flavorless when they’re this oversize.
Put these medium-to-large zucchini—you know, the ones that verge on the size of baseball bats if they go unpicked for a few days— to good use. They are great candidates for turning into noodles; they also work well grated and used in quick breads.
We’re here to help you with that surfeit of zucchini—you can bake with it, pickle it, grate it, saute it, or even grill it!
What are your favorite recipes with zucchini?