Zucchinweek!

From the looks of things at the farmers markets in our area, it’s a good time to be a zucchini lover. When we went to pick up our meat CSA share last weekend, all the farms’ stands had a great selection of the usual lean green zukes, little yellow ones, squat little globe zucchinis, and several other types.

It is not, however, a good time to be a long-winded blogger. (Probably obvious from my blatant recycling of that photo of our farmers market haul, huh?) Long story short, summer vacation looks a lot like a zillion work projects and a boatload of school work from where I stand. So while I’d love to give the mild-flavored, versatile zucchini its due in a winsome, photo-packed post, I’m afraid this just isn’t the month.

No full-length original recipe from me this time, but here’s the executive summary on zucchini (aka courgette): they’re technically a fruit even though we generally treat them like vegetables in recipes; like many plant foods, they’re high in water and low in calories; and zucchini have decent amounts of vitamins A, C and B6 as well as folate and potassium.

You can do all sorts of things with them, but keeping to the “OMGIHAVENOTIME” theme, this zucchini and fennel soup from Epicurious is a quick way to enjoy zucchini’s mild flavor.

It takes just a few ingredients that you chop:

…then simmer in broth for about 15 minutes before you toss it all into the blender or food processor.

Saute the tomatoes for maybe a minute, plop them on top of the soup, and you’re good to go. When I called this mild, Tim said that was a generous description. So I’d suggest that this is better with a little salt and a lot of black pepper; I also found that it got tastier after sitting in the fridge overnight and then served cold.

But don’t stop at soup – there are so many ways you can prepare and enjoy these guys. I tried to dig up a list that features a good variety of recipes, from dessert to dinner, soufflé to muffins to soup. I’m sure you can find something here that helps you experience zucchini if they’re new to you, or enjoy them anew if they’re already old hat:

  • Egg muffins with zucchini and spinach, from The Sweet Beet (here)
  • Fennel and zucchini soup with tomato relish, from Epicurious (here) – I found this needs a little salt, a good amount of ground black pepper, and gets tastier when chilled.
  • Gnocchi with zucchini ribbons and parsley brown butter, from Eating Well (here)
  • Zucchini, feta cheese and mint crumble, from Alter Kitchen (here)
  • Zucchini cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, from I Am Baker (here)
  • Zucchini “tagliatelle” with cucumber, mint and lemon, from Epicurious (here)
  • Zucchini soufflé, from Mark Bittman (here) – described as “a savory souffle, hold the anxiety.” I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks good.

Since I cheaped out on you this week and didn’t include a full/new recipe in the usual list, here’s a consolation prize: links to several other zucchini recipes that I’ve featured previously on ETW:

  • Zucchini and lemony goat cheese pizza, from Smitten Kitchen (here)
  • Sauteed escarole, zucchini, white bean salad, from Cooking Light (here)
  • Pasta with fava beans and zucchini (text file here)

5 comments

  1. Thanks for hosting my recipe for zucchini crumble! :)
    And very nice finding all these recipes with zucchini (I love them)

  2. amy h. says:

    Kat, great post! Check out zucchini carpaccio, a wonderful way to get rid of the excess. I hope you’re well! Portland is beautiful right now but not exactly summery. The recipe: http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/05/this-side-of-a-meltdown/

  3. I never knew zucchini is called courgette. I just came across your site through the Around the Plate community. I just love this concept – featuring one ingredient a week. Can’t wait to see more.

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