In their field: Abundance of zucchini

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Do you have too much zucchini? I don't yet. My garden is really, really late this year -- I have huge tomatoes, but none have even begun to get red.

But inevitably, in a week or so, I and every other gardener in the Northeast will have so much zucchini, so much squash, that we are scrambling to come up with some creative way to use it all before it rots.

So I took a break from farm visits this week to present to you a few recipes that are somewhat out of the ordinary. I gave a call through Facebook for reader recipes, and I consulted my family and friends, too. I got some good responses, and they aren't all in this column. As the season goes on, I'll probably add to the list via Twitter and Tout, so follow me @FrancescaShanks (my married name).

Recipe continues after video

Zucchini bacon

My own recipe

1 medium-to-large zucchini

1-2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. cracked black pepper

Vegetable oil for frying

Cut zucchini into thin slices -- use a mandolin if you have one. Mix salt, paprika and pepper together, and rub it all over the slices.

Let the zucchini sit in the fridge to marinate for at least an hour; this will leach out some of the water so it fries crisply.

Heat stovetop to medium-high; fill a heavy-bottom pan with about 1/3 inch of oil and let it get hot.

Fry slices until they're crispy and brown on both sides.

Let excess oil drain off by putting finished slices on paper towel.

Eat like bacon! Serves many, depending on how much you want. 20-35 slices a squash, approximately.

Zucchini bread

Sarah, an Eagle reader who grew up in Cheshire and sells baked goods at farmers markets in Eastern Massachusetts now, submitted this recipe for gluten and dairy-free zucchini bread. Bread is quite passé, but with so many people avoiding gluten right now, it's a good time to share this recipe. Visit her website at www.wheatlessbliss.com.

2 cups gluten-free brown rice mix (Sarah's recipe for flour below.)

2 large eggs: I use farm fresh

1/2 rice milk; you can also use coconut or almond milk

1/2 cup oil

1 cup grated zucchini. pat dry

1 tsp xanthan gum

1 tsp baking soda

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

half of tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp clove

Mix all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Then add zucchini and mix well.

Add rice milk, egg and oil. Mix until incorporated.

Bake at 350 degrees in a mini loaf pan.

Will make 4 mini loaves.

This Sarah's recipe for my gluten-free rice flour mix:

6 cups brown rice flour

2 cups potato starch

1 cup tapioca starch

Squash pasta

My friend Denise Murphy, who is the wife of a photographer I love and worked with when I first started working at daily papers, gave me this recipe for no-cook, healthy squash pasta, for hot summer days when turning the oven or even the grill on is not happening. This makes enough for two small servings, so adjust accordingly.

Container of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

1 clove garlic, thinly sliced (really thinly)

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Handful torn fresh basil, plus leaves for garnish

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

Salt to taste

One zucchini thinly sliced length-wise, slices cut into long strips

Put the thinly sliced zucchini on paper towels and lightly salt and let the zucchini sweat onto the paper towel to remove some of the moisture.

In a bowl, combine tomatoes, garlic, walnuts, basil, and oil. Season with salt. Let stand 20 minutes. Toss with zucchini and garnish with basil.

If you have a zucchini recipe you would like to share, email it to me at folsen@berkshireeagle.com.

And remember, I have more. I plan to record 45-second cooking videos through the summer to go with this column, so look out for them, too.


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