Recipe Book: Zucchini-zilla — What to do with all that summer zucchini

Some great summer recipe suggestions for that zucchini—whether it's home grown of from the farmers market.

Even picking from your garden every day, there is a moment when you discover a zucchini the size of a Buick sitting hidden under a huge amount of foliage. "What do you do with a large zucchini?" is the phone call I usually get from a reader.

Large zucchini have a woody, hard outer shell, so the best thing to do is to slice out the inner seeds, peel the outer hard dark green exterior, and shred or julienne the rest. When peeling is not possible, I have also removed seeds from the interior and made a stuffing out of Italian sausage and herbs with a bread stuffing, and stuffed the long "boat" and baked it covered for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees until it is done. Coat it with marinara sauce before serving. 


Curt's Zucchini and Raw Corn Salad
(I use a mandoline to thin-slice the onion and julienne the zucchini)
3 ears white corn, cut off cob (uncooked)
2 medium zucchini or yellow squash, julienned (across the round for short matchsticks)
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 medium white onion, thin-sliced then quartered into strips
Juice of 3-4 fresh limes
Generous salt & pepper, to taste

Mix everything. Let marinate at least 2 hours before serving, stirring occasionally.


Darlene's Famous Zucchini Bars
3/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 cup shredded coconut
3/4 cup shredded unpeeled zucchini
3/4 cup nuts, dates or raisins (we prefer nuts)

Cream together butter and brown sugar, and add the rest of the ingredients. Pour into a greased and floured 10 x 15 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. In the meantime, make the glaze below.

1 Tbsp. butter, softened
2 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Blend well and spread on bars while still warm. Chill bars and cut. Also, this glaze can be used on other cakes, and is especially good on bundt cakes.


Darlene's Zucchini Imperial
1 1/2 lbs. zucchini sliced
2 eggs
1 cup mayonnaise
1 medium onion, grated
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste
Bread crumbs for the top
Optional: 1/2 green pepper, chopped

Cook zucchini in 1 cup boiling water to steam (about 5 minutes).  Drain well.  Beat eggs and add mayonnaise and continue to beat until mixed well.  Fold in onion, cheese, salt and pepper, and green pepper, if used.  Mix well.  Gently fold in zucchini.  Pour into a buttered 1 1/2 qt. baking pan.  Sprinkle with bread crumbs.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 to 45 minutes. 


Marva's Zucchini Casserole
2 slices bacon
6 med. zucchini, cut into 1 1/2 – 2 inch slices
1/2 onion, sliced thin
1/2 green pepper, sliced thin
6 lg. mushrooms, sliced
1 lg. can Italian tomatoes, crushed
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 1/2 cups shredded Italian cheese

Chop bacon and fry until crisp.  Drain, and reserve 2-3 Tbsp. drippings.  Sauté zucchini in drippings, until lightly browned on both sides.  Remove to bowl.  Add remaining vegetables to pan and sauté for 3-4 minutes.  Add zucchini, garlic, tomatoes and seasoning.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer for 3-4 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Place mixture in casserole dish, and top with cheese.  Bake at 400 degrees until cheese is melted and lightly browned.  Serves 8.

Nancy Loughin July 05, 2012 at 02:10 PM
The zucchini and corn salad is best served the first day. The flavors on this salad will dull over time in the refrigerator.
Nancy Loughin July 05, 2012 at 02:12 PM
I have a great chilled cucumber and dill salad recipe. Email me if you want that one too. We are harvesting a lot of cucumbers these days.
Penny Halpern July 05, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Thanks for providing ideas on how to use all the huge zucchinis that are hiding under leaves. I can only eat so much in any one day. Sauted, baked and made into bread are my options before this article. I'm printing it and plan to use some of the ideas above. Sound delish!


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