Being a Jersey girl, every summer I was inundated with zucchini. My pop always planted ton of it and when my dad started to plant his garden a large portion was set aside for this wonderful, yet sometimes neglected veggie. I have always loved zucchini and over the years I have found many different ways to cook it. Growing up in a Italian household, fried covered in gravy (red sauce) and smothered in mozzarella cheese or cubed and thrown in a pot of gravy (red sauce) were the go to in zucchini preparations. I still make fried zucchini once every summer but I have spread me wings and found some other amazing ways to highlight this vegetable. Today I wanted to share a few easy and simple ways to make zucchini that is healthy yet tasty.
1. Parmesan baked zucchini
One of my favorite ways to make zucchini is baked with Parmesan cheese, it is simple but taste great. All you need to do is preheat your oven to 400 degrees and slice the zucchini long ways into thin slices. Then spread butter or margarine along each slice and sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese salt and pepper. Bake in the oven until the zucchini is soft and the cheese is slightly brown on top. I have also done the same recipe with hummus spread on top instead of butter and cheese and it is just as good and givse a little extra protein.
2. Zucchini Spaghetti
This is something new for me, my husband got me this great little gadget that makes zucchini into spaghetti strands. I love to toss it with fresh Jersey tomatoes chopped up and basil. As far as cooking the spaghetti, I have done it two different ways. One is to boil like you would regular pasta and the other is to saute it in a pan with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper.
3. Zucchini and Quinoa
I saute chunks of zucchini up in a fry pan with a little bit of olive oil, salt pepper and lemon juice. Then just toss it with either couscous or quinoa. It is so yummy you will never eat quinoa or couscous plain again. This one is great for when you want to feel full but don't want meat.
4. Zucchini boats
This recipe is a little more labor intensive but it is filling and definitely worth the time. First, boil the zucchini until soft. Then cut the zucchini in half long ways and scoop out the zucchini insides. Set aside skins. While the zucchini is boiling, brown your favorite ground meat( I prefer ground turkey), cook your favorite brand of rice, and prepare your favorite red gravy. Mix meat, rice, gravy and zucchini insides all together and refill the boats. Cover with gravy and cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven until cheese is browned about a half an hour.
5. Zucchini sticks and flounder
Take the zucchini and chop it in to sticks couple inches long and not too thick. Toss it in a screaming hot frying pan with a little bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and a touch of cayenne pepper. Cook until soft and a nice golden brown coating. Put in a separate bowl off to the side. Take flounder salt and pepper both sides and lay in the same pan, cook both sides until light golden brown. Layout zucchini and crumble flounder on top add a little lemon and lime juice to the top.
So how do you like your zucchini? I would love to hear your recipes because the crop has just started and I have lots to use up!