What's cooking with zucchini?

Friday, July 20, 2007
Carrots, zucchini and fresh tarragon from the garden

Zucchinis have been coming at me at a slow and steady (and so far manageable) clip. Earlier this summer I made a salad of shredded carrots with fresh tarragon, and my husband and I loved the flavor combination. I decided to build upon that pairing again, but this time with the addition of shredded zucchini.

I'm discovering that I really like to shred zucchini. I think it's because it gives way so much easier than carrots do, and it doesn't stick to the box grater the way cheese does. It's clean, quick and pleasant to prepare. (Bear in mind, this is written by someone who hasn't yet been inundated with bucket loads of zucchini.)

This salad was one of my "this and that" creations. I tossed in a little of this and a little of that, until it tasted good to me. I used vinegar and olive oil, plus a little honey to bring out the sweetness of the carrots. My secret ingredient was a hint of cinnamon -- just enough to give it a little something special. Toasted sliced almonds added an extra layer of crunch.

The verdict on this one? Hubby thought it was too sweet; I liked it a lot. Apparently I've got a sweet tooth even when it comes to eating my vegetables! I would definitely make this again, but probably with a little less honey next time.

Next up: zucchini linguine. Using the V-slicer I haven't made peace with yet, Michael cut our most recent zucchini into long green shoestrings. He added the squash strips into the pasta about two or three minutes before it finished cooking. I wouldn't have liked the zucchini this way if it had turned out too mushy, but he cooked it just right. The zucchini still had a good bite to it and it paired neatly in texture with the linguine cooked al dente. In the end, it was all mixed together with olive oil he had infused with our own-grown garlic and herbs. We added fresh Parmesan cheese at the end and... oh my, this is a going to be one of my favorite summer pasta dishes. More zucchini? Bring it on!


Blogger Jane O' said...

Boy, does that pasta dish look good. I'm a big fan of both past and zucchini, sounds like a great combo to me.

8:53 AM  
Blogger Celia Hart said...

That pasta dish looks great - and it's sure to be a winner when there are lots of courgettes (zucchini) to pick.
I'm picking our first two courgettes tonight and making a frittata with fresh eggs supplied by our hens. That's if I can get up the courage to venture down to the veg garden in this torrential downpour that's sweeping across England this afternoon. We definitely won't be dining al fresco!


9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great zucchini ideas, and keep them coming! I've had zucchini everyday this week, today I think I'll try it in an omlet. My favorite so far is on pizza.

1:44 PM  
Blogger Bev said...

Yumm... this makes me hungry and should be on the cover of Gourmet or something. Beautiful dishes, and I'll bet they were just as beautiful to eat. Now I'm really anxious for my first zucchine...should be soon.

6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your veg looks fantastic. Ours is so slow at the moment, but stuff is growing slowly...it's all this rain!!

9:48 AM  
Blogger kate said...

I had to smile at your comment about shredding zucchini. I enjoy reading about your inventiveness with food. Knowing you are cooking with your own veggies must be a wonderful feeling.

10:43 AM  
Blogger Rosengeranium said...

Heh. My parents used to torture me with zucchini - they didn't know buy then that the fruits has to be picked at the right size (not longer than 15cm/6"). My sister and I were served those bitter big monsters instead and I took a lifelong disliking to them. Nowadays I wonder what would happen if I did taste a zucchini picked at the right time. I still haven't dared to try it, but when I do I must use at least one of your recipes.

1:54 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I love that idea... I adore zucchini with pasta so shredding the zucchini and cooking it all together would save me a lot of time. Yum.

10:25 PM  
Blogger maria said...

Superb ideas for zucchini recipes.

Thanks, will try them.


6:00 PM  
Blogger Tracey said...

Hi Christa,
I made your shredded zucchini and carrot 'slaw' the other night and loved it. Thanks so much for the ideas!

9:18 AM  
Blogger Christa said...

You're welcome! So glad to hear you liked it.

6:11 PM  

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