Zucchini-tini ~

Yes, it’s finally summer in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.   Community gardens, urban farm plots and farmer’s markets are bursting with delicious bounty.  It’s my absolute favorite time of year.  Berries of all kind, cherries sweet and tart.  My fingertips are stained a dark purplish hue from July through August.  I always have big plans for the box loads of berries I buy every week, but mostly I eat them all by myself before they make it into a pie or cobbler or jam.  Last year the hubs and I did manage to distill a very tasty Framboise.  A liqueur made with vodka and fresh raspberries.  This year we’re going big and bottling it for Christmas gifts.  Way better than jam!

But, summer also brings on zucchini.  Lots and lots and lots of zucchini.  Oh, its fun at first, but pretty soon zucchini starts to take over.  You’ve eaten it every day for weeks and frankly, enough already with the zucchini – but it just keeps coming.  Now you start giving it away to your friends and family who don’t have gardens of their own – the pastie-white apartment and condo dwellers with no hint of a farmers tan or dirt under their nails.  At first they’re excited, grateful even, for this unexpected gift.  But it doesn’t take long and soon even these folks are dodging you and your gifts from the garden.  It’s been said that zucchini is the gifted fruitcake of vegetables.

So, with my new frugal retiree outlook on life, I’ve been on the hunt for new ways to use this little over achiever (besides trying to give a bag of it to the gas station attendant for filling up the gas tank).   Interesting side note:  August 8th is officially Leave Zucchini on Your Neighbor’s Porch Day.

Why not plan an entire meal around zucchini?   With all of the fabulous food blogs out there, it wasn’t hard to come up with a whole bunch of creative recipes.  Here’s my menu plan.  Sounds like a dinner party’s in the works at Casa Sims in the next couple of weeks.

Start with a pitcher of zucchini martinis and spicy zucchini chips, and you’ve got cocktail hour covered.  For the main course, I’m thinking this zucchini bread pudding looks absolutely delish.  Pair it with a zucchini carpaccio salad and this whole menu plan just keeps getting better.  Finish it all off with a scoop of zucchini ice cream. I’m thinking a few raspberries on top cuz I’m pretty sure even zucchini goes better with raspberries.  Call me crazy (you won’t be the first) but this sounds like a deliciously fun dinner to me.  Summer’s better tasting version of when we used to make the entirely green dinner on St. Patrick’s Day.  I’ve book-marked the recipes and I’m going for it.  Who wants to join us?

Now, if you still have more zukes than you know what to do with, here are a couple of other interesting ideas.

Yes, folks, its the Zukapult Competition.  Really, what’s better than flying zucchinis?

Zuke Art?  Sure, why not…but would anybody really buy this for $200?

Disclaimer:  I’m one of the pastie condo dwellers and all of my garden bounty including the zukes are gifts from the beautiful gardens of my son and his farmgirl.  Thanks for sharing your bounty with us.

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6 thoughts on “Zucchini-tini ~

  1. Great post! My favorite thing to do with all the extra zucchini is to make brownies or chocolate quick bread with grated zukes as part of the recipe. The squash disintegrates into the chocolate batter while it bakes and literally disappears, but the resulting bread or brownies are super moist! Yum!

    • That sounds delicious Lois and I bet you could make several and freeze. I think I’m going to try shredding and freezing some zucchini also so I can bake these desserts in the dark of winter when warm, sweet and tastey goodness are sorely needed. Do you have a recipe you would like to share?

      • Here’s a non-vegan recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Bread:

        Ingredients:

        2 cups sugar
        1 cup canola oil
        3 eggs
        3 teaspoons vanilla extract
        2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
        1/2 cup baking cocoa
        1 teaspoon salt
        1 teaspoon baking soda
        1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
        1/4 teaspoon baking powder
        2 cups shredded peeled zucchini

        Directions:

        In a large bowl, beat the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until well blended. Combine the flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and baking powder; gradually beat into sugar mixture until blended. Stir in zucchini. Coat two 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pans with cooking spray. Pour the batter, evenly divided into two portions, into the prepared pans.

        Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Yield: 2 loaves (12 slices each). Can be frozen for later use.

      • Yum. I’ll give it a try and thanks for the tip on freezing the zucchini.

    • I’m having some folks over for the all zucchini dinner in a couple of weeks. I’ll let you know then. Have a fabulous surprise trip. Can’t wait for your blog post with details.

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