LAKE MACBRIDE— It’s the time of year for zucchini, and they are coming in with bounty. What to do with them? Over the years, I have tried a lot of techniques, and here are some do’s and don’ts.
Don’t dehydrate them unless seeking to occupy space in the cupboard. I dehydrated zucchini as recently as last year, and either forgot they were there when making soup, or they weren’t the right ingredient. If one chooses to dehydrate zucchini, a little goes a long way. Try making a quart Mason jar of quarter inch dehydrated rounds or half moons first. That has been more than enough to last the year.
Do use zucchini fresh in recipes, of course. When you or neighboring gardeners or farmers have a load of extra zucchini for cheap, get what you may need for the year, and using a box grater, grate them into one cup servings and freeze them in a freezer-style, zip-top bag. I started with six cups, and will see how long it lasts.
Do try new recipes. Today, for lunch I made fried zucchini (see photo) coated with corn meal. There are dozens of combinations of shapes and coatings, and they can be baked or fried. Once you get past inertia to trying out an idea, working with zucchini can be fun.
Realizing there is a seasonality to vegetables, and using them when they are in season is an idea at the heart of the local food movement. Zucchini is just one tasty example.