Everyone always talks about having zucchini coming out of their ears, but I’ve never had that great of luck growing it. I must have a black thumb when it comes to zucs. I need to do some research. Fortunately, we’ve had plenty of zucchini (and other summer squash) from Victory Acres and from the farmer’s markets, so it’s not like we’ve gone without. Our favorite way to use zucchini is to shred it and use it in place of pasta in lasagna and other pasta dishes. We’ve made this dish close to once a week for much of the summer: we shred zucchini in the food processor, saute it in a large pan with some olive oil and basil for just about five minutes or so. Then we put some marinara or meat sauce on top.
For lasagna, I use a mandolin to slice the zucchini length-wise. For lasagna, I like to sweat the zucchini a bit, so it isn’t so watery. To do so, I slice it up, salt it, and then let it sit in a colander for at least an hour. I only have a picture of making it in a baked pasta dish, but the idea is the same for lasagna – you just use the zucchini “noodles” instead of the lasagna noodles (and no pre-cooking necessary of course). We find zucchini a much tastier pasta substitute than spaghetti squash, so I try to shred and freeze several bags of it for use throughout the winter as well.
I also made some zucchini and sweet pepper relish (using this recipe), which turned out quite delicious. We’ve been eating it up on just about everything, but our favorite so far is in tuna and salmon salad.
I’m really the only one in the family that likes this raw zucchini salad, which is fine by me. The zucchini stays a little crunchy, which is nice for a change.
Raw zucchini salad
Adapted from Food52
Handful fresh basil or mint
Juice on one lemon
1 clove garlic, sliced
Splash of extra virgin olive oil (1 – 2 tbsp, to taste)
Salt and pepper
Cut the ends of the zucchini and slice it on the lowest setting on your mandolin (if you don’t have a mandolin, you can attempt to slice thinly with a knife instead). In a jar combine the remaining ingredients except the basil and shake well. Pour the dressing over the zucchini, add the basil, and gently stir to combine. Enjoy!
*More zucchini recipes here.