Zucchini Time Is Here!
There has been an abundant amount of zucchini coming into my kitchen this summer and I have found many things to do with it.
The first thing I do is shred the zucchini and freeze it so I can have my winter zucchini bread. I measure out 2 cups of shredded zucchini and put it in a zip-lock freezer bag. Steam blanching is recommended for shredded zucchini. Make as many 2-cup bags as you think you will need over the winter.
I also made zucchini sticks and put them in the freezer. This is a first time for me so I am excited to see how they come out.
Take your zucchini and wash it (of course). Cut the tips off and peel off the skin. Cut the zucchini in half. You can core your zucchini with an apple corer. I just cut mine into sticks and then cut out about a 1/4 lengthwise from each stick to get the seeds out. I made my dry breading first so it would be ready. After you get your zucchini prepared into sticks, you will need a bowl of water to dip them in before you bread them. You will also need a cookie sheet (or two) covered with a sheet of wax paper.
Make sure you blanch your zucchini sticks for 3 minutes then cool them in ice water for 1 minute before breading.
Now that everything is ready, use your left hand to dip the zucchini stick in the water then set it in your bowl of dry breading. Use your right hand to cover the zucchini with the breading (this prevents too much clumping in the breading). Set it on the wax paper. Once your cookie sheet is full, set it in the freezer until frozen. From there I vacuum pack my zucchini and put back into the freezer for use at another time.
When you are ready to use it, just get it out of the freezer and straight into the deep-fryer.
The next thing I do is prepare my zucchini to freeze for cooking in the winter months. My favorite dish to put zucchini in is spaghetti. I've also heard that is it tastes great in chili too. I will definitely try that this year.
Wash the zucchini and cut 1/4 inch off the tips. Cut into ½ inch slices. Blanch for 3 minutes and then cool in ice water for a minute. I use a slotted spoon to scoop out zucchini and put in a colander for draining. I then decide how much I might need per recipe and put that amount in vacuum pack bags. I leave the bags open and stand upright in the freezer. Once they are frozen, I vacuum pack the bags and put them back in the freezer.
To use my zucchini straight out of the garden, I like to put it in my spaghetti. I usually use one medium size zucchini. I wash it, cut the tips off and cut it into ½ inch slices. I then quarter those and put in the sauce.
I also like to make fried zucchini which is always a summer favorite. We usually have a green tomato ready to fry up along with that.
Zucchini casserole and a nice summer zucchini salad are also very good.
I always used to sigh and wonder what I was going to do with all of my zucchini. Well this year I'm thinking I may not have enough!
Check out our "recipe page" for some great zucchini recipes.