Zucchini – All Day, Every Day
Posted by wendiwendy
Earlier this year, I nervously watched as Dave planted three (yes, THREE) zucchini plants in the garden. “Are you sure you want to plant three?” I fretted. “I mean, I could barely keep up with one zucchini plant last year.”
“Oh, this is nothing…it’ll be fine.” He grinned as he patted the dirt around the last plant, then stood up and confidently clapped his hands clean.
Fast forward to August, NOW, and let’s just say the zucchini plants are very happy. They are large and productive and gleefully giving up zucchini left and right.
Luckily, I like zucchini. It’s one of those veggies that’s very easy to add to just about anything; it doesn’t have a strong flavor that overwhelms everything else, and it’s pretty forgiving. There’s just so MUCH of it, man.
When I finish this post, I’m going to make some banana-zucchini bread (with a streusel topping, because yum). Yesterday I made a pot of chicken and noodles, and tossed a nice-sized zucchini in with the carrots, celery and onion. It was awesome. So far this week we’ve had zucchini brownies, grilled zucchini and corn (tossed with olive oil and spices – delicious), shredded zucchini added to the spaghetti gravy (you’d never even know it’s there), and the pièce de résistance: an apple pie, made with zucchini and no apples.
I’d seen this recipe before, and everyone who tried it insisted you couldn’t tell it wasn’t apple inside. Still, though, I didn’t want to waste time making pie crust just to have a sweet zucchini pie, ya know? But the pile of zucchini on my counter called to me, and I had a pie crust already made and hanging out in the freezer, and I thought, Okay, we’re gonna do this.
The recipe was basically exactly like my regular apple pie recipe – scarily so – except for one change, which was the addition of 1-1/2 teaspoons of cream of tartar. Dave and I puzzled over the role it played in the zucchini/apple magic, and couldn’t really figure it out. In the end we decided it must have served to thicken the liquid a bit. When we added all the ingredients to the peeled and sliced zucchini, it did get very watery. The recipe instructions mentioned this and said it would be fine, so I decided not to worry. And it was! It was fine! More than fine, really – even the next day, the filling was thick and delicious, and it tastes JUST like apple. I mean, it’s really weird. And I know it’s zucchini, so I keep expecting it to taste like zucchini, and it just does not.
Dave claims he can tell it’s not apple because of the texture (to me, the texture is just like apple…but he’s more of an apple connoisseur than I am). However, he didn’t think it tasted like zucchini, or that he would know it was zucchini if I hadn’t told him; he just would have asked me what kind of apple I used. (!!)
Here’s the pie (with a crumble topping, since I didn’t feel like making a second crust):
We’ve actually been keeping up with the zucchini really well; three plants’ worth, for heaven’s sake. (Not that I want three plants next year. Are you paying attention, dear husband of mine?!) I like them smaller, so we try to catch them before they turn into caveman clubs. (It doesn’t always work, but we try!)
I’m also trying not to freeze any, not just yet. It’s fine if you use frozen zucchini within a couple months, but any longer and it starts to taste weird. Since I have so much zucchini coming in, if I freeze it now then I won’t need to use the frozen stuff until November or so. I’d rather wait for the end of harvest and then put up a few bags of sliced and shredded zucchini for the winter months. That way they won’t be so ‘old’ by the time I get to them.
We discovered that we really like grilled zucchini (all this time and I never tried that), and I have yet to make a big pot of pasta primavera, which is a terrific way to use zucchini. I also have a really yummy creamy zucchini soup recipe that I haven’t broken out yet this season, because it’s been too hot. All in good time.
I have a potato zucchini frittata recipe I want to try, and zucchini bread to make (my regular recipe, loaded with zucchini, carrots and pineapple, which is more like a cake and has a delicious cream cheese frosting). I haven’t yet made stuffed zucchini, which is great – I stuff it with onions, mushrooms, bacon and cheese (and, of course, the chopped zucchini that’s been scooped out). Not to mention bruschetta with roasted tomatoes and zucchini (gotta wait for the tomatoes to ripen before I can make that). Geez, I really need more zucchini if I’m going to make everything I want to.
Who would believe that, in my previous picky-eater life, I never, ever used to eat zucchini?!
About wendiwendyI'm a real-life bionic woman.
Posted on August 11, 2013, in Food & Cooking, Not Related to Hearing Loss and tagged apple pie made with zucchini, apple zucchini pie, gardening, growing zucchini, homegrown zucchini, what to do with zucchini, zucchini, zucchini recipes. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.