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What to Do With Extra Zucchini?

Elyn spent the last 30 years in China, coming home in the summer to cook American food and have fun doing craft projects with her family.

Zucchini duck

Zucchini duck

Zucchini Squash Recipes and Other Fun Ways to Use Zucchini!

If your garden is filled with too many zucchinis, this is the article for you. Along with some beautiful photos of our zucchini and summer squash friends, in this article, you will find a compendium of:

  • Zucchini anatomy and flowers
  • The difference between zucchini, courgette, and marrow
  • How to make zucchini ribbons and noodles
  • How to prepare zucchini for freezing
  • The best recipes for grilled, fried, and baked zucchini, and how to use the flowers
See the fruit developing at the base of this zucchini flower?

See the fruit developing at the base of this zucchini flower?

Zucchini Flowers and Cooking Squash Blossoms

Zucchinis have both male and female flowers. Look for the female flower at the end of the growing zucchini. Look for the male flower where the leaf stalk meets the stem. They are both edible!

Nip those zucchinis in the bud! When you cook zucchini flowers, it is customary to remove the parts in the middle, the pistils and stamens, if you remember your flower anatomy! The stem is good to keep so you can have something to hang on to when you are cooking them. Otherwise, the blossom may tear.

You can fry the flowers like fritters or dipped in tempura batter and fried up, incorporate in scrambled eggs, stuff, saute, and even use them in a flower soup.

Cooking Zucchini Flowers

Zucchini, courgette, and marrow

Zucchini, courgette, and marrow

Is It a Zucchini, a Courgette, or a Marrow?

  • Courgettes are the baby fruit of several types of marrow, harvested when they are 14x4 cm long—about the size of a cigar.
  • Zucchinis are fruits of the same plant but harvested when they are 15–20 cm long.
  • Marrows are semi-mature fruits that have reached full size.
Zucchini "pasta" noodles and ribbons

Zucchini "pasta" noodles and ribbons

How to Make Zucchini Ribbons

You can peel a zucchini with a vegetable peeler, a julienne peeler, or a mandoline vegetable slicer—leaving the seeds out. Some people like green skin, while others like to peel it off first because the skin can sometimes be bitter.

I like to sauté it in olive oil or butter, add some garlic or some cream, and put some parmesan cheese on top. Sometimes I add some tomato sauce or even a spoonful of salsa for flavor. Yum!

A Simple Zucchini Noodle Maker

This One Is for People Who Are Serious About Their Veggie Noodles

Zucchini Salad Recipes

  • Zucchini Noodle Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce
    This is a lovely cold salad for hot summer days. Making zucchini noodles is a lot of fun, and eating them is satisfying. I love noodles, but am always nervous about putting on more pounds from eating too many of them! So this is a perfect "noodle."
  • Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Sweet Corn & Avocado
    This recipe has different fragrances from the additions of avocado and corn that really add interest to the dish. The next time I try it I want to try adding a little red pepper.
Preparing zucchini for freezing

Preparing zucchini for freezing

How Do You Freeze Zucchini?

I know two ways of freezing zucchini—sliced and grated.

  • Grated: Grate the zucchini in the amount you will need for your favorite recipe. One to three cups work best. Put it directly into the freezer in a ziplock bag or other freezer container. When you defrost it for a recipe, add the water that's in the bag or container, too.
  • Slices: Steam the zucchini for about five minutes. Then cool the zucchini before putting it in a ziplock bag or container. Don't forget to label how much zucchini you put in the container.

As always, when storing food in your freezer, label the container with the date frozen and what is inside, and how much is inside. It makes it much easier when you're digging through trying to find the bag you need.

Grilled zucchini is so good!

Grilled zucchini is so good!

Grilled Zucchini or Fried

When zucchini is grilled, it tastes so good. All sorts of new flavors come out. I have to admit, I also really like frying zucchini. Just cut big slices, coat in flour, and fry in your favorite oil. I like to add some salt, garlic powder, and thyme to the flour, which adds a beautiful flavor to the dish.

Grilling Zucchini

Baking With Zucchini

Savory Zucchini Recipe

Beautiful zucchini

Beautiful zucchini

National Zucchini Day Is August 8th

It all started in Pennsylvania when there was an unusually productive harvest. According to what I could find in my research, National Zucchini Day began as a day when people would secretly put gifts (well, maybe it was an act of desperation!) of zucchini on their neighbors' porches. It was originally called "Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Day."

Grow zucchini and maybe you'll get a six-foot long zucchini like this!

Grow zucchini and maybe you'll get a six-foot long zucchini like this!

Want to Grow Your Own Zucchini?

A six-foot-tall zucchini? That is what you see in the picture. In 2008, a woman in Queens, NY, went away for a weekend. When she came back, her zucchini had grown almost two inches in two days. She let it continue growing and ended up with a six-foot zucchini.

Is it the world's longest zucchini? No. So far, the world's longest was grown in India and was more than seven feet tall. But this one counts as one very big zucchini.

Zucchini Jokes and a Poem

Q: How do you know if you are living in an urban area or not?

  • A: You aren't living in an urban area if you have to lock your car doors in order to keep your neighbors from putting their extra zucchini in the back seat of your car!

Q: What is a zucchini's favorite game?

  • A: Squash!

Q: What do a kangaroo and a zucchini have in common?

  • A: Neither one can ride a bike.

A Poem by "Wren"

It was an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny

silver striped green zucchini.

While we slumbered, what went wrong?

Overnight it's two feet long!

© 2012 Elyn MacInnis