zucchini (zucchine) - what to do with them?

Joined Feb 1, 2007
Here you go, Siduri. Hope you enjoy them.


One thing to keep in mind is that all summer squashes are interchangeable in most recipes.


Summer Squash Timbale.  


(Although this can be made in one large mold or individual timbales, I usually go with the individual ones)


4 cups (about 1 ½ pounds) grated young summer squash


2 tbls extra virgin olive oil

1 cup finely chopped yellow onions

1 tsp minced or pressed garlic

3 tbls minced fresh herbs such as basil, chives, marjoram, parsley, savory, alone or in combination.

5 eggs, beaten

2 cups heavy cream


Black pepper

Butter for greasing molds

About 1 cup fine bread crumbs

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Fresh herb sprigs for garnish


Place the squash in a colander set over a bowl or in a sink, generously sprinkle with salt, mix with fingertips, and let stand 30 minutes. Gather squash in your hand and gently squeeze to release additional surface moisture. Reserve. (note: I gather the squash in a towel and squeeze it that way)


Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat, toss with the squash, and stir in the minced herbs. Add the beaten eggs and cream and season to taste with salt and pepper.


Preheat oven to 350F.


Butter the bottom and sides of a 5-cup mold or 10 ½-cup metal timbale molds or ceramic custard cups. Dust molds with bread crumbs to coat completely; shake out excess crumbs. Fill the crumb-lined containers with the squash mixture. Transfer to a deep baking pan and add hot water to reach two-thirds up the sides of the timbales. Bake, uncovered, until set, about 1 hour for a large mold, or about 30 minutes for small ones. Remove from the oven and let stand about 5 minutes, then run a thin-bladed knife or rubber spatula around the inside edge of the molds and invert onto a platter or individual serving plates. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and garnish with fresh herb sprigs.

Wild Rice Crust:


1 egg

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 tbls freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 tbls unsalted butter, melted

2 ½ cups cooked wild rice


Freshly ground black pepper


Custard Filling:


2 cups (about 10 oz) finely chopped or coarsely shredded summer squash


¼ lb thinly sliced leeks, including some of the green tops

4 eggs

1 ½ cups heavy cream

1 tsp Dijon style mustard

1 cup crumbled chevre cheese

1 tbls chopped fresh marjoram or savory

Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 350F.


To make the crust, beat the egg, cheese, lemon juice and melted butter together in bowl. Stir in the cooked rice, season to taste with salt and pepper, transfer to a 9-inch pie pan, and press with your fingertips to cover bottom and sides evenly. Bake until set and crisp, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes (Or cover and refrigerate as long as overnight; return to room temperature before filling).*


Meanwhile, make the filling. Place the squash in a colander set over a bowl or in a sink. Generously sprinkle with salt, mix with your fingertips to distribute the salt, and let stand for 30 minutes. Gather squash in your hand and gently squeeze to release any additional surface moisture. Reserve.


Heat the gutter in a sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat, add the leek, and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the drained squash and sauté about 5 minutes longer; reserve.


In a bowl, combine the eggs, cream, mustard, cheese, marjoram and salt and pepper to taste and whisk to blend well. Stir in the leek and squash mixture, pour into the rice shell, and bake in the 350F oven until filling is set and the top is golden, about 30-35 minutes. Serve hot or cold.

*I make similar crusts with cooked brown rice and with grated potatoes. So let your imagination go wild.

Tomato salsa:


2 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

1 medium sized yellow onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

3 or 4 fresh hot chili peppers, minced

½ cup minced fresh cilantro

2 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice



Spicy squash cakes:


4 eggs

4 cups (about 1 1/3 lbs) finely chopped or grated summer squash

1 cup fresh corn kernels (cut from about 2 large ears)

¼ cup finely chopped green onion

1 tbls minced fresh mild to hot chili pepper

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup freshly grated sharp Cheddar cheese

½ cup unbleached all purpose flour

3 tbls unsalted butter, melted


Black pepper

Ground cayenne pepper

Safflower or other high-quality vegetable oil for sautéing


Sour cream (optional)

Fresh cilantro sprigs for garnish


To make the salsa, combine the tomato, onion, garlic, chili pepper, cilantro, lime juice and salt to taste in a bowl; reserve.


To make the cakes, beat the eggs in a large bowl. Beat in the squash, corn, green onion, chili pepper, Parmesan and Cheddar cheeses, flour, and melted butter. Season to taste with salt and black & cayenne peppers.


Heat about 2 tablespoons oil in a sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the squash mixture per cake into the hot oil and flatten to create uniform thickness; do not crowd the pan. Cook until golden brown on the bottom, then turn and cook the other side until golden brown, about 3 minutes total cooking time per cake. Transfer to a dish or pan lined with paper toweling and place in a warm oven. Cook remaining cakes.


To serve, arrange the cakes on individual plates with some of the salsa and a dollop of sour cream. Garnish with cilantro sprigs.


Recipes courtesy “James McNair’s Squash Cookbook,” written by James McNair, published by Chronicle Books, 1989.
Joined Apr 3, 2008
Siduri, how sad to hear you don't love zucchini.  It's one of my favorites.  I don't know what you mean by 'boil in tomato" but do you mean stew with tomatoes?  Do you feel likewise towards "roast with tomatoes?"  Here's somethings I do with zuccini.

Greek ratatouille - slices of zucchini, tomatoes, onions, and potatoes.  Tossed with garlic, olive oil, dill and parsley and fresh mint.  Roasted covered for 1 hour and then uncovered for another 30min.  Excellent accompaniment to fish.

Zucchini fritters - grated zucchinni mixed with grated onions, garlic, a little carrot, and parsley and mint, egg, and breadcrumbs (basically a meatless meatball lol), dust in flour and fry till golden crisp.
Joined Mar 21, 2008
Pile at neighbors back door at midnight and run /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif I hare zucchini too!
Joined Feb 26, 2007

A really enjoyable pasta dish with raw grated zucchiine:

(portion sizes as looks right - I know you'll know)...looking to serve about 4 with this:

Coarsley grated raw zucchine - say 1 medium or 2 small

Spiralli or Penne pasta (I use dried) say 500g/1lb dried(or pasta of choice)

Chunks of butter (to taste) or EVOO if you prefer

Good sploosh of lemon juice

Slivers of parmagianno

Zest of one lemon


Cook your pasta, a bit further than al dente is best.

Meanwhile, grate up your zucchine.  Heat a big serving bowl until it's as hot as it can safely go.

Once pasta is done. immediately toss thru butter, lemon juice & zest, grated zucchine. Season.

Into hot serving dish, serve with heaps of parmiaganno.

Quick & delicious, but the serving bowl must be very hot or the zucchine takes the remperature of the pasta way down to cool.
Joined Aug 13, 2006
KY thanks so much. those are unusual and interesting, and a lot of work to write out for me, thanks

Koukovagia - yeah, i mean stewed in tomato - I don't like much of anything stewed in tomato or with tomato - ratatouille, and all it's cousins - i don't much like meat cooked in tomato either.  Anyway, baked is different.  I do throw some zucchine in the oven with potatoes, onions, carrots, etc, when i make roasts, to cook in the roast drippings.  The fritters (yours and someone else's) look good. 

DC thanks, that one is similar to the grated pasta I listed albeit without any instructions (i use garlic to add some flavor)
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Joined Feb 1, 2007
No problem, Siduri.

BTW, if you should make the tart, a nice way of presenting it is with a nest of fried zucchini sitting on top.

Finely shred about a pound of zukes. Salt and drain them, and transfer to a bowl of ice water for about 30 minutes. Drain and dry well. Then deep fry the shreds until crisp. Pile in the middle of the tart before cutting.

Come to think of it, these make a nice crispy topping for all sorts of things. So there's another use for you.
Joined Aug 13, 2006
No problem, Siduri.

BTW, if you should make the tart, a nice way of presenting it is with a nest of fried zucchini sitting on top.

Finely shred about a pound of zukes. Salt and drain them, and transfer to a bowl of ice water for about 30 minutes. Drain and dry well. Then deep fry the shreds until crisp. Pile in the middle of the tart before cutting.

Come to think of it, these make a nice crispy topping for all sorts of things. So there's another use for you.
as a matter of fact, ky, i think i ate fried grated zucchine at a sicilian restaurant once.  it was great. 
Joined Jul 28, 2006
Zucchini pancakes and zucchini bread are the only ways I like them.  In fact,  if a neighbor offers me one,  I typically shred and freeze in the right recipe portion if I don't plan to use it right away.  
Joined Aug 25, 2009

Siduri, I don't know if you like zucchini cake ?.

Pineapple / zucchini cake with cream cheese icing.

Zucchini spice cake.

a thought.
Joined Oct 9, 2008
If you're running out of recipes, just use them as an early-summer replacement for late-summer eggplant. Zucchini babaghanouj is quite good, for example.

Next year (and if you start getting more this year), cook every blossom you get your hands on, and that'll help a lot.

In New England, at least, the joke is that you come back to your car and discover someone has broken into it -- and instead of stealing anything, has left zucchini on your passenger seat.
Joined Feb 1, 2007
Here in the South we call them Zucchini Bandits. But they don't have to break in, cuz we never lock our cars.
Joined Feb 1, 2007
Yeah, they do, Grace. Thus the Zucchini Bandit moniker. What I meant was that they don't have to break-in to the cars to make those deposit. Just open the unlocked door is all.
Joined Feb 1, 2007
Although not quick and simple, the following makes an incredible first course, if I say so myself. It's something I came up with last summer, as a way to use up the surplus zucchini.

If you've got lots of patience, this can be done with baby zukes. But small/medium ones really make more sense.
[h1]  [/h1][h1]SARDINE STUFFED ZUCCHINI[/h1]

2 medium zucchini           

2 can skinless/boneless sardines

salt & pepper

1 tbls minced red onion

Squirt of Dijon mustard


Thinly sliced Fontina cheese            


Hot sauce spiked egg wash


Panko crumbs

Oil for frying  


Red wine vinegar reduction (1 cup vinegar & 2 tbls sugar, cooked down until syrupy)

Shaved Parmegiano Reggiano


Using a mandoline or very sharp knife, slice zucchini lengthwise, about 1/8[sup]th[/sup] inch thick, keeping each two slices matched to each other. Sprinkle with salt. Sandwich between paper towels. Set aside to let some of the moisture drain.


Make filling: Mash sardines with salt, pepper, onion, mustard, and just enough mayo to bind mixture.


Sprinkle slices with pepper. Using matched pairs of zucchini slices, put a layer of sardines on one side of each pair. Top with Fontina. Do not let either the sardines or cheese overlap the edges. Cover with second zucchini slice.


Dip each sandwich first in flour, then egg wash, then panko crumbs mixed with salt, pepper, and oregano. Sauté in oil until browned on each side and cheese is melted.


Put a layer of caponata on serving plate, slightly longer and wider than the zucchini sandwich. Top with zucchini sandwich. Squiggle vinegar reduction over zucchini. Garnish with slivers of Parmegiano Reggiano.
Joined May 2, 2010
I hate them too, horrible slimy things, just the smell of them cooking makes me feel ill,the only way I am able to tolerate them is in a Greek? ratatouille - have I spelt that correctly the word sounds "al la francais"  to me, however I always think of it as a  Greek vegetable dish.   I think underdone, only just cooked, al dente, is best with them.
Joined Feb 1, 2007
Seaside, are we talking about the same vegetable? I've never seen a slimy zucchini. And they have so little taste and aroma of their own that you must have an incredibly sensitive nose to react to it.
Joined Oct 9, 2008
Ratatouille is a southern French dish -- Provencal, I believe. The Greek dish you have in mind is probably moussaka, which is sometimes made with zucchini, although we usually think of it as primarily eggplant.

There's a great Mexican dish I got from Diana Kennedy. You hollow out some zucchini and cook the cut-out stuff with corn and herbs, and perhaps some fresh chiles if you like, let cool, then mix with cheese and soured cream. Pack that back in the zucchini, top with more cheese, and bake until golden. It's delicious: corn, rich dairy, chile, and zucchini are a winning combination. Fresh oregano makes it even better.
Joined May 2, 2010
KYheirloomer,  yes courgette/zuchinni smell very unpleasant to me when heated,  I do have a very very sensitive nose.  The larger fruit a Marrow, so called  in the UK,  does not have that smell it is with the much  smaller zuchinni type that I have a problem with, overcook it too much and  to me it is rather slimy.

Chrislehrer  -  Ratatouille although a french word I have always mistakenly thought of as Greek, probably because of the use of the eggplant/aubergine  I have often made moussaka, minced lamb tomatoes aubergine egg custard   etc.

Sorry for any confusion folks!!   /img/vbsmilies/smilies/crying.gif/img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif
Joined Feb 1, 2007
I would have thought ratatouille more akin to caponata than to moussaka.

Anyway, here's another great summertime dish I adapted slightly from one that appeared in the Gardener's Community Cookbook:

1 potato crust

2 large tomatoes

2 ½ cups grated provolone

1 large shallot, minced

2 medium zucchini

1 tsp basil

1 tsp oregano

1-2 mild chilis, minced


Prepare the crust and bake while preparing the filling.


Trim and thinly slice the zucchini. You should have 3-4 cups. Thinly slice tomatoes.


Spread the bottom of the crust with 1/3 of the cheese. Place a layer of zucchini slices over the cheese, overlapping them to cover well. Arrange a sligly overlapping layer of tomato slices over the zucchini


Lightly sprinkle the tomatoes with another third of the cheese. Continue with a second layer in the same order, ending with tomatoes.


Sprinkle top layer with the onion, chili, basil and oregano. Spread the remaining cheese over the top. Bake in a 375F oven until cheese is melted and bubbly and veggies cooked through, about 45 minutes.

[h1]Potato Crust[/h1]

2 cups grated russet potatoes

1 egg lightly beaten

1 small onion, finely chopped

¼ cup all purpose flour

2-3 garlic cloves, crushed

Salt & pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 375F.


Squeeze as much moisture as possible from potatoes (I wring them through a cloth). Combine with the other ingredients and mix well.


Oil a 10-inch pie pan and transfer the mixture to it, spreading evenly across the bottom and up the sides, as for a pastry crust. Bake until well browned arund the edges, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven, fill, and bake right away.

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