So many uses for home-grown zucchini

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Are you still picking those zucchini and wondering what to do with so many? One plant can sure produce a lot.

I have found a few different ways to prepare the zucchini.

One is to simply grill the zucchini. I have a shallow pan I like to cook it in. To prepare it, slice the zucchini in thin strips and toss with olive oil before grilling until soft. If you want to add a little more flavor, I like to slice an onion to add in, as well as some garlic. There are also any number of seasonings you can sprinkle on to give an added boost. One of my favorites is Mesquite seasoning. Toss all of that together and put it on the grill.

This makes a great side dish to any meal. Another good side dish is parmesan crusted zucchini fries. You can either cut in strips again or slice the zucchini. Then coat the zucchini with egg and a combination of bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes, turning once, at 425 degrees.

Want to make zucchini your main course? I have a great recipe for that as well. You can use the zucchini to make Zucchini Boats. To do this, slice the zucchini in half, scoop out the seeds and microwave for about 7 minutes. Then fill the zucchini with spaghetti sauce and top with cheese. Bake this for 30 minutes at 350 degrees and enjoy.

If you are looking for a healthy snack, zucchini chips are a great option. Thinly slice the zucchini, then place on dehydrator trays. You can season with sea salt or grind up other herbs and sprinkle across the slices. Dehydrate for about 12 hours depending on the thickness of your slices.

One other favorite for zucchini is of course zucchini bread. This is what got me hooked on zucchini several years ago. Before that, I always thought I didn’t like it. I tried the zucchini bread though and loved it, then started growing some just for bread. I have since discovered so many great uses for zucchini, I can’t imagine why I ever thought I didn’t like it.

Until next time, happy garden-fresh eating!

Julie Clements is a Butler County Master Gardener.
Share your ideas for garden-fresh recipes or ways to preserve at julieclements75@gmail.com and some will be featured in upcoming columns.

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