Updated: Apr 30, 2020
2015 : It’s that time of year again. The early summer vegetables are just starting to produce a steady crop. The first in my garden this year are the zucchinis. I love zucchini. But I am the only one in my house who does.
Each year, I set myself the mission of finding some way of preparing this understated veg so that DH and Miss 8 and 11 will love it as much as I do. To date my mission has been unsuccessful but I am not daunted.
I planted 3 zucchini plants (they are prolific and realistically 1 is more than enough for the average family) this year just to prove to them how much I want them to love this little green veg. I have promised myself that I will pick them whilst they are young and tender and not turn my back on them for a single day lest they quadruple in size overnight. I always fall into the trap of wanting them to be just a little bit bigger… bad move. Small is sweet and perfect.
Zucchinis are also known as courgettes and in a culinary context are known as a vegetable but technically are a fruit. They are low in calories (approx 17 kcal per 100g) and contain folate, potassium and provitamin A making them a good choice for the dinner plate.
I posted my quest on the Gracious Goodness Essentials Facebook page and was inundated with amazing recipe ideas. They were all so good that I decided to blog them so that they could be kept safe for prosperity and easy reference in the future. I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I plan to this summer!
Zoodles have made a resurgence in popularity over the last 2 years, being a favourite noodle replacement for low carbers. Easily prepared using a mandoline, vegetable spiraliser or some sassy julienne slicing, the zoodles are then either served raw or lightly steamed or pan fried usually under a pasta style sauce. When served raw the heat of the sauce partially cooks the zucchini leaving them al dente on the plate. When steaming or frying, care needs to be taken to ensure they are not overcooked or they may become watery. I particularly enjoy my zoodles cooked lightly in coconut oil and garlic.
Zoodle Pesto Salad
2016 – This is an updated entry, I discovered this beautiful recipe and made it that same night. Kids ate it with only a grumble of complaint!! Success!! I loved it. I don’t think I would eat a main size of it as the pesto is very rich however as a side it was delicious and would compliment a BBQ beautifully I encourage you to try this one… http://www.annabel-langbein.com/recipes/zucchini-fettuccine/3063/
Several recipes were posted for zucchini slice. I love zucchini slice cold for lunch. Its such a simple, dish that is full of flavour and versatile enough to withstand any number of substitutions for ingredients you have to hand in the kitchen.
One recipe posted by Kirsty consists of
2 zucchini, grated
1 carrot, grated
3 celery stalks, finely diced
1 onion, finely diced
4 mushrooms, grated
1 cup cheese grated
1 cup wholemeal flour
2 rashers bacon
Combined then baked in 160 degree oven until cooked in the middle.
Another zucchini slice recipe privately submitted by David is from Taste.com.au website and can be found here. He tells me that his sons ate the slice without even realising the zucchini was in there!
2017 Update – another couple of zucchini slices for you to try. This first one was submitted by Nicole Forrest and is a ripper. This is a double batch quantity so you can halve if you want a smaller serving. I watched her husband eat this slice for breakfast at work for months before I got the recipe!
700g zucchini,grated 1 carrot, grated 2 onion, chopped 6 pieces of bacon, chopped 2 cups cheese, grated 2 cups almond meal 10 eggs (20 if small or you are lucky enough to have your own chooks!)
Mix all ingredients together, pour into large greased pan (or two) and bake at 160 degrees until the almond meal becomes quite dark. Serve warm or cold.
This next zucchini slice recipe was handed down to me when I left home from my mum, Trudy Park. It’s always been favourite of mine. I can’t believe it was omitted when this blog post was first written!! Sorry mum!
5 large eggs, lightly beaten 400g zucchini, coarsely grated 2 medium carrots, coarsely grated 1 large onion, finely chopped 2-3 rashers bacon, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, crushed 1/4 cup light olive oil 1/2 cup parsley 1/2 tsp lemon juice 1 cup self raising flour 100g tofu Salt and Pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients, except flour, and mix well. Fold in flour until well blended. Pour into greased lamington tray. Bake in a moderate oven (160 degrees) for 30-40 minutes. Serve warm or cold.
* I actually prefer to quickly saute my onion, garlic and bacon before adding to the veggies. The tofu is undetectable in the slice but adds a good protein source. I’ve also added corn to this recipe and it adds nice little bursts of sweetness. Lasts really well in the fridge for lunches all week.
A little like eating curries on a hot day, sometimes a hot soup in summer is quite enjoyable. Particularly towards the end of summer when the last of the zucchini crop is ready to be picked and the days are cooling down. Lyndal submitted this lovely recipe which is one of her family favourites. http://www.fivemore.com.au/italian-style-zucchini-and-parmesan-soup/
One that I am keen to try, another private submission by David, a simple dish that will allow the delicate flavour of the zucchini to shine. Simply dice zucchini and combine with a finely diced onion and fresh herbs – dress with mayonaise or salad dressing of your choice.
Chicken and Zucchini Poppers
A lovely moist chicken nugget that can be pan fried or oven baked. http://www.onelovelylife.com/chicken-zucchini-poppers-gf-df/
Zucchinis stuffed with a mince meat filling, a traditional family favourite when I was growing up, although I remember ours being more tomato-ey than this particular recipe. An easy variation to make to the recipe if desired. http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/zucchini-boats
Parmesan Crusted Zucchini Log
Along a similar lines to zucchini boats is this yummy parmesan crusted zucchini log. Simply slice your zucchini lengthwise into quarters, if still large slice lengthwise again so that you have nice logs. Mix on a plate 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, 2 tsp dried herbs of your choice (I used thyme, oregano, basil and garlic) and salt and pepper to taste. Brush some oil on your zucchini logs then press into the cheese mixture so that they are well coated on the 2 exposed edges. Place on a rack in the oven (so any moisture drains away whilst cooking) and bake for 15 minutes at 180. If still not crisp enough, pop under the grill for a further 2-3 minutes. Enjoy. The kids even ate one of these logs and begrudgingly admitted it to be edible. Which for them and zucchini is a great success!
I’ve had several people approach me with similar recipes but this one submitted by Wendy is simple and delicious. http://www.justataste.com/5-ingredient-zucchini-fritters-recipe/
2017 - I've developed my own Grain Free Zucchini Fritter recipe which you can find here.
Submitted by Faye, an easy way to disguise zucchini in a flavourful and delicious pasta sauce. http://www.recipecommunity.com.au/pasta-rice-dishes-recipes/alfredo-pasta/281801
Enjoy this super healthy classic french vegetarian dish submitted by Sandra. There are also slow oven roasted versions of this dish as well if you desire a richer, roasted flavour hit. http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2903/ratatouille
Raw Zucchini Hummus
Since going low carb I have been missing hummus made with chic peas and this recipe solves my cravings! It’s been given the thumbs up by Kristie. http://detoxinista.com/2010/02/raw-hummus/
I made this dip using roasted zuchinni… oh my gosh! Devine!! Even the kids devoured it without complaint. And… it was almost nicer warm than it was cold. I blitzed my zucchini pretty much straight out the oven hence the warm dip experience. Next time I might make this as a warm cob loaf dip. mmmmm.
Always one to love disguising vegetables in sweet baking this has made it to near the top of my must try list (just don’t forget to sub the margarine for butter or coconut oil), deliciously submitted by Margaret. http://allrecipes.com/video/4432/zucchini-brownies/
I hope this list gives you some inspiration when the zucchini glut hits your household. I know it does me! I will add new family favourite recipes to this list as they are submitted along with adding photos as I make the various recipes, so keep checking back
A little piece of trivia… the longest zucchini recorded was 2.39 m.