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Great Zukes!

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Tasty Kitchen Blog: Great Zukes!

 
Are you one of those fortunate souls with great-yielding gardens and have you found yourself wondering what to do with all that zucchini growing in your backyard? Or perhaps you’ve noticed the copious amounts of fresh-looking inexpensive zucchini in your grocery store and wished you could figure out new ways to use them in your meal plan. If so, then wonder no more because today, we’re all about the zukes!

Zucchini (or courgette in some parts of the world) is a wonderfully versatile … fruit. Yes, you heard it. You’re a fruit, zuke. Yes, I know people usually cook you like a vegetable, but (men, now would be a good time to avert your eyes and ears) since you are, botanically speaking, the ovary of the zucchini flower, that makes you a fruit. But don’t worry. You’re not alone. Maybe the tomato will give you the name of its therapist.

Since zukes are commonly prepared as a vegetable, I thought we’d start with some of the wonderful salads and side dishes we have here that feature the great zuke.

 

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Great Zukes! (Salads and Sides)Top row, left to right: Zucchini Cakes from DetzelPretzel, aka Pastor Ryan, Shaved Zucchini Salad with Parmesan & Pine Nuts from The Noshery, and Stuffed Zucchini from italianfoodforever. Middle row, left to right: Zucchini and Corn with Basil from polwig, Greek Stuffed Zucchini with Kalamata Olives, Feta Cheese & Tomato Sauce from cookincanuck, and Zucchini Toss from italianfoodforever. Bottom row, left to right: Zucchini, Tomato & Gorgonzola Puff Pastry Tarts from cookincanuck, Glorified Zucchini Casserole from jlclawson, and Beautiful Baked Squash from Karenpie.

 
 
 
Zucchini can also make for a great main course, either in a supporting role or as the main attraction. It can be sliced into long strips and used as a low carb stand-in for pasta, or hollowed out and stuffed with all kinds of good things. It’s a great addition to pasta, quiches, omelets, and lasagna. You can throw it in your stir-fries or quick sautes with your favorite protein. It cooks in no time and so is a wonderful choice for those quick and easy meals.

 

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Great Zukes! (Main Course)Clockwise from top left: Polenta Lasagna from myrecessionkitchen, Zucchini Ribbon Risotto from whatsgabycooking, Lemon Pasta with Zucchini and Feta from Tracy (sugarcrafter), Pizza Stuffed Zucchini from golokitchen, Grilled Zucchini and Ham Pita Panini with Basil Hummus from Natalie (Perry’s Plate), Chicken Parmigiana with Zucchini Noodles from The Noshery, Zucchini Absorption Pasta from The Culinary Passport, and Zucchini Pie from Karenpie.

 
 
 
Zukes are also a great choice for snacks, and either fried or grilled. Since their taste is not overpowering, they pair well with the flavors you use to coat them. Kids who don’t normally like the green stuff may have a hard time resisting them when presented in the delicious ways you see below. And your guests’ eyes will light up when they see you bringing a platter of those grilled zucchini fries to a table, with freshly grated cheese on top.

 

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Great Zukes! (Snack)Clockwise from top left: Fried Zucchini Strings from Renee Wise, Baked Zucchini Fries and Cheddar Fried Squash from jodiemo, Zucchini Fritters with Goat Cheese from A Cozy Kitchen, and Grilled Zucchini Fries from patiodaddio.

 
 
 
Of course, savory is not the only way to go with zukes. The most popular sweet use of zucchini is in bread. Quick breads, to be exact. As mentioned earlier, their taste is subtle, and so some folks may not even realize there’s a veg–—sorry, I meant fruit—in there. Throw some chocolate in, and that’s it. It’s officially irresistible.

 

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Great Zukes! (Quick Bread)Clockwise from top left: Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread with Dried Cherries and Sunflower Seeds from glutenfreegirl, Vegan Pumpkin Zucchini Bread from Jessica at Kohler Created, Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread from cuttingedge, Orange Pecan Zucchini Bread for Doorsteps Everywhere from Food for My Family, Chocolate Zucchini Bread from oneordinaryday, and Zucchini Bread with Cream Cheese-Sour Cream Frosting from whiteonricecouple.

 
 
 
It was only a matter of time before zukes made their way from bread to other baked goods. Cookies, cupcakes, cakes, they’ve all managed to welcome the zuke, identity crisis and all, with open arms.

 

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Great Zukes! (Baked Treats)Clockwise from top left: Zucchini Swirl Bundt Cake from europegirl87, Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cake from Tracy (sugarcrafter), Zucchini Cupcakes from manda2177, Almost Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Nut Muffins from ontheroadjanet, Chocolate Zucchini Fudge Cake from manda2177, Pineapple Zucchini Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting from lindainmo, Chocolate Chip Zucchini Mini-Muffins (Gluten Free) from elanaspantry, and Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies from thewaspyredhead.

 
 
 
And there you have it, a tribute to the great zuke! (That sounds like it needs a red cape and bullet-reflecting wrist bands, doesn’t it?) We showed you 36 different ways to use zucchini, from savory to sweet, which is only a small portion of what you’ll find here at Tasty Kitchen.

 
How about you? What’s your favorite way to enjoy the great zuke?

 
 

29 Comments

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Nikki of Fresh&Frugal on 9.13.2010

Finally, a list of zuke recipes! Bring on the bunches of courgettes, home slices.

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sprucehill on 8.31.2010

Oh I just love zucchini fixed any way!

http://sprucehill.typepad.com/

Amanda on 8.31.2010

I have a mock apple pie where you use zucchini instead of apples and it is really good. Nobody knew until I told them.

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cookincanuck on 8.29.2010

Fantastic round-up of zucchini recipes. Perfect timing as my garden is absolutely bursting with zucchini.

The Waspy Redhead on 8.28.2010

Thanks for including my zucchini chocolate chip cookies in your roundup! One of my favorite recipes from last summer. Here’s the link to my blog post featuring the dish:

http://thewaspyredhead.com/recipes/chocolate-chip-zucchini-cookies/

Kelly on 8.27.2010

I made something similar to this recipe: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Zucchini-Pie-II/Detail.aspx

And it is just like all the reviews: It’s a pie made with zucchini that tastes like an apple pie. You’d never know it had a vegetable in it. Delicious!

Diane Cooper on 8.27.2010

Bahaahahaha- getting the name of the tomato’s therapist!!!
Love it… and love all the recipes… makes me wish that I had planted zukes this year! I could have used this list 2 years ago!
Diane

Connie Pruitt on 8.27.2010

I have a pineapple zucchini bread recipe we love.

Christina on 8.27.2010

Wow! This is a great post! Thanks for all of the great ideas! I think I”m going to be making some Zucchini Cookies this weekend and I might even try Kris’ Zucchini Pie!

I just make a great Zucchini Bread the other day — it turned out so moist! Here’s the recipe: http://itsakeeper.wordpress.com/2010/08/26/using-summers-bounty-the-best-zucchini-bread/

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RestrainedChaos on 8.27.2010

Zucchini is the magic vegetable in our house. I can find a way to include it in just about anything we’re having. I’ll even add it to Hamburger Helper to feel better about myself. ;) My husband is almost sick of how much zucchini he has to eat during the summer. My kids, on the other hand, are never happier than when they hear zucchini is on the menu. Go figure!
Yay zucchini! You are one of the most underestimated…fruits…available to us!

DaCook on 8.26.2010

I love them grilled or pickled. Just use your favorite ice box/refrigerator pickle recipe and sub sliced zucchini for the cukes! Very, very good. If you want to cheat a bit, use Mrs. Wages refrigerator pickle mix.

Tegan on 8.26.2010

Wow, will definately have to try all of these! I’m especially excited about the Zucchini Fries and such other nom-ness.

Kris Tabbert on 8.26.2010

This is awesome!! Tastes like apple pie!!!

Zuchinni Pie

Pie filling
8 cups peeled, chopped (1/2 to 1″ cubes) zuchinni (I removed the
seeds)
2/3 cups lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Cook zuchinni and lemon juice over medium heat until tender (20-30
minutes)
Add sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, simmer 1 minute, remove from heat.

Crust
4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups cold margerine or butter
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix flour, sugar and cinnamon and fold in butter until all mixed up.
Put 1/2 cup of this mixture into the pie filling mixture.
Take remaining 1/2 of the crust and press into a greased 15″ x 10″
pan.
Add zuchinni pie filling.
Pour remaining crust mixture evenly over the top.
Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.
Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

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loveandbutter (Jamie) on 8.26.2010

I love zucchini either fried or on the grill, but if I want something a little sweeter I make muffins! I use pineapple and pecan and whole wheat in mine, makes them great for breakfast… http://tastykitchen.com/tasty-kitchen/recipes/breads/zucchini-muffins-or-bread/

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crayongirl on 8.26.2010

Love the zucs! Our favorite recipe is to saute a bit of oil and garlic in a skillet then throw in chopped zuc and onion and cook to your desire. There really aren’t any specifics. It depends on the size of the zuc, how much garlic and onion you like or have on hand. Toss some grated Parmesan cheese on top. Add Italian seasoning or fresh basil. Add tomatoes if you have tons or even a can. Add olives and feta. Add chicken, put it in a tortilla or wrap with some salsa and cheese…wait, I’d better write this down as I’m thinking this sounds good for supper! Be creative and let your taste buds guide you! However, I do like to warn people that the stringy green stuff in the zuc brownies is just shredded zuc! Ha ha!

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Midwest Mrs on 8.26.2010

We’re having a Farmers’ Market at work today and I just picked up two zukes! How timely. Thanks!

hennifer on 8.26.2010

I say where are all these commenters’ recipes?

Can’t wait to try many of these as my CSA box overflows

Becky on 8.26.2010

Zucchini Pie – Some say it’s like sugar cream pie, others say it’s like pumpkin pie, I say it’s delicious!

Jessica on 8.26.2010

growing up we had zukes galore! My mom even had me chasing the mail man down to give him some! So we had everything with zucchini in it… most memorable… zucchini pancakes! that’s right ladies and gents…. pancakes!! :) fun stuff, thanks for all the recipe ideas!!

Judy H on 8.26.2010

Thanks for all the great recipes. Zucchini is my favorite vegetable because it is so versatile, and I am always on the lookout for a new way to fix it. All of these recipes look like winners.

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graceandgiggles on 8.26.2010

I make a cornbread and zuke muffin with cayenne added in for a kick. Awesome with chili on a cold winter day!

Megan on 8.26.2010

Can’t wait to try some of these!! THANKS!

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bmd4me on 8.26.2010

I love to brush it with olive oil, sprinkle with Italian herbs and grill it! Awesome stuff!!

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carolinagirl on 8.26.2010

OMG, I want to try every one of those recipes, they all look fabulous!

kristi on 8.26.2010

This is my new favorite:

http://tastykitchen.com/tasty-kitchen/recipes/sidedishes/marinated-zucchini/

I will definitely be trying out a lot of these recipes! Thanks!

Heather (Heather's Dish) on 8.26.2010

oh my gosh, this all sounds and looks out of this world! i’m doing the savory ones first :)

Tabitha (FromSingletoMarried) on 8.26.2010

It’s funny – I don’t care for zucchini but I LOVE it in muffins!!

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manda2177, i am baker, i am mommy on 8.26.2010

Thanks for all the recipes in one place… its a wonderful go to guide!

Jessica @ How Sweet on 8.26.2010

I make provolone-stuffed fried zucchini. It may be a heart attack on a plate, but it is UNREAL.