When we think of the bounty of a summer garden, eventually our thoughts will turn to zucchini. Lots and lots of zucchini. Sometimes, you may even think you have too much of a good thing. Heck, a quick online search even reveals that August 8th is National Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day. I promise you, I am not making this up.
Yes, zucchini is ubiquitous in August, but it is also a versatile and much loved fruit/vegetable. (For culinary purposes, it’s generally considered a veggie, but zucchini is technically and scientifically a fruit. You learn something new every day, right?)
Anyway…whether you like it baked or fried, as a main course or as a special dessert ingredient, hot or cold, in soup or salad, the humble and sturdy zucchini can present itself in so many delightful ways. Every ingredient should be this multifaceted and easygoing.
Here are some of our favorite ways to feature the superstar of August – the modest, yet hugely talented zucchini!
Let’s start with a simple – and simply delicious – appetizer. This easy-to-prepare Cheddar, Zucchini, and Garlic Bruschetta is a perfect accompaniment to a chilled glass of wine on a summer’s evening. You can wow your guests with this effortless presentation.
From a tasty appetizer we head directly over to a fun and inventive main course. And what a main course it is. This recipe for Baked Zucchini Macaroni & Cheese comes from Cabot Cheese Board blogger Joanne at Eats Well with Others. (Her motto: “Mostly ridiculous, always delicious.” We love that.). Her recipe has all the great taste of a classic mac & cheese with the health and zing of zucchini. Everyone’s a winner with this dish!
And here’s another fun way to turn a humble veggie into a dinnertime favorite. This Spaghetti and Zucchini in Creamy Parmesan Sauce is so full of great flavors you might want to double the recipe from the start. Roasting the zucchini brings out the full flavor and the rich, creamy cream sauce with garlic turns the dish into something you’ll want to make again and again.
Here’s a classic zucchini dish – with a twist. Middle Eastern Stuffed Zucchini Boats from Jaden at the popular Steamy Kitchen blog incorporates sweet and savory Middle Eastern flavors and gives a popular dish an exotic change of pace.
I’m a sucker for zucchini fries, and these Spicy Zucchini Fries with Greek Yogurt Dill Dip from Kitchen Treaty have all the taste of fried but they’re baked! The deliciously crispy, spicy Panko coating gives them a zesty crunch and the flavorful, cool dip kicks the taste up a few more notches. But be sure you have enough of these on hand. They go fast!
Leave it to the talented Julie of The Little Kitchen to come up with this creamy side dish that showcases the very best attributes of the unassuming zucchini. This recipe for Zucchini Gratin is deliciously decadent with its cheesy goodness inside topped with a crispy, crunchy topping.
Stacey at Southern Bite knows how to take all the goodness from the garden – tomatoes, zucchini, and sweet onions – and turn them into a magical dish that just about anyone will love – his famous Zucchini & Tomato Bake. It’s so simple, so colorful and just so darned yummy, it might just become your go-to summer side dish.
Does your family love tater tots, because I know mine does. But you’ll be taking the whole concept up a notch when you try these amazing Gluten-Free Zucchini Tater Tots from Cupcakes and Kale Chips. Tater tots with cheese and zucchini? I’d say that’s a win/win!
Here’s a delicious soup that you can enjoy hot or cold, but either way it retains its light, creamy deliciousness. Rebecca at Foodie with Family knows how to make healthy food taste great. After all, she’s feeding five growing boys and a hungry husband. Her Creamy Zucchini Soup, which she likes to call Faux-chyssoise is the perfect choice for a hot summer day.
We really love Kevin at Closet Cooking because his recipes never fail to impress. We’re going to leave you with this brilliant recipe for Chocolate Chip Zucchini Greek Yogurt Banana Bread, which has so many great flavors going for it it’s hard to know where to begin. The “bread” is moist and dense like cake. It’s sweet and light and, best of all, easy to prepare. While it’s great as a dessert, it’s also perfect for breakfast. Or lunch. Or a snack. OK, it’s delicious any time.
For more delicious recipes, click here.
Candace Karu is Cabot’s Lifestyle Commentator and Favorite Foodie. (Yup, that’s her real title!) When she’s not on the road representing Cabot’s farm family owners, she lives, cooks, and works out in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.