The Zucchini Cookbook

My joy in cooking is directly related to the level of productivity in my vegetable garden and orchard. This year’s summer crops are inspiring, despite the difficult and dangerous weather we’ve experienced this summer in Australia. I can only put this abundance down to a few things- the time spent monitoring the garden, good compost, mulch and water, the latter, in our case, pumped from a dam to a header tank. Each day, it’s simply a matter of combining the day’s pick with some pantry staples to make deeply satisfying meals. The first and most prolific summer vegetable, the zucchini, will come first in my Summer Cookbook, a reverse alphabetical approach. They are a versatile vegetable, lending themselves to slow braising, frittatas, ratatouille, fritters, sweet cakes, pasta sauces, soups, Greek pies, and shapes to be stuffed. This year I’m growing three varieties: Blackjack ( Black beauty), a dark green fleshed fruit, a good keeper, adding colour to soup and fritters, Cocozelle, an Italian heirloom variety, which is striped and long, the flowers more likely to cling to the young fruit, making it a great one for tempura battered zucchini flowers, and the pale green Lebanese zucchini, a good one for braising. I prefer to pick zucchini when very young for most dishes. Medium sized zucchini are set aside for soups and the large ones go straight to the chooks or are dried for seed collection.

Three varieties of zucchini.

My latest simple recipe, Grilled zucchini with Marinated Goat’s cheese, is a great addition to the summer table.

Ingredients

  • five or more very young zucchini, halved vertically or cut into three lengthwise. Note, if you shave these into thinner strips, they will char to quickly and virtually disappear on the BBQ.
  • good olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, smashed into a paste
  • fresh marjoram leaves
  • Meredith marinated goats cheese or equivalent product
  • a pinch of sea salt flakes

Light a hooded BBQ and get the temperature above 250 º c. ( you could also use a kitchen iron grill ). Toss the cut zucchini long pieces and toss in a little EV olive oil in a bowl. Add the garlic paste to a separate small bowl of EV olive oil. Using tongs, place the lightly oiled zucchini directly onto the BBQ and close the lid. Raise the lid after a minute or so and turn the zucchini strips. When nicely done on both sides, add to a serving bowl, and toss through some of the garlic paste oil. Add salt and pepper, fresh marjoram leaves and a few hand torn cubes of marinated goats cheese, as much as your conscience allows. Serve alongside other summer dishes.

grilled zucchini, marjoram, marinated goats cheese, with grilled garlic mushrooms, and thyme, potato salad, overnight cucumber pickle, pide bread

Looking for more summer zucchini recipes? The links here will take you directly to some of my older recipes on the Z word.

16 thoughts on “The Zucchini Cookbook”

  1. Yippee hurrah ! For some reason or another the two vegetables always in my crisper are baby bok choi and zucchini ! And thanks to you my zucchini recipe file has just nearly doubled !! Thanks Milady. Cannot wait to make the zucchini and anchovy pasta or your herb and onion fritters ! Then have to research the zucchini pickle as I love risotto and see how your Greek pies are made . . . naturally feel somewhat incapable that my vegetables come from the markets or even, ashamed to say, from the supermarket . . . but when the fires slip into memory books . . . perchance next spring some gardening will again be on the agenda . . . 🙂 !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will write up my new zucchini fritters in my next installment, to add to the list. No need for shame Eha, we aren’t all made for gardening. Sometimes i wonder about the rod I’ve made for my own back….

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  2. Zucchini are one of my favourite summer veg. Home or locally grown. I don’t bother buying supermarket offerings. Due to powdery mildew our season is short but I enjoy every one, and you have introduced me to new ways with them. Even the G.O. normally not a fan eats them pickled, and voluntarily ate zucchini slice this year.

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    1. That powdery mildew is such a curse. With all the decent rain we’ve had, I’m keeping an eye on things. I have the bi-carb soda ready and have popped in some more seeds for a layer crop just in case. Good to hear about the GOs changing diet. Pickling is the way to go. I’m doing more quick, instant pickles these days. Did you put me onto this?

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  3. I surely hope my garden behaves better this coming season than last. It was horrible. Too much rain for too long. Bugs, mold, rot… I love zucchini and they are so truly versatile. I love your recipe. Perfect simplicity.

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    1. There’s nothing more annoying and frustrating than bugs, mold and rot. I’m keeping an eye on things after our heavy rain and high humidity, as mokd can ruin all my hard work in a flash. Thanks Mimi.

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  4. Beautiful vegetables indeed! Despite the fact that it’s mid-winter here, we are eating more vegetables — though obviously not from a local farm or garden. Those little zucchini with the flowers attached are not like the ones that come here from Mexico, Peru, and sometimes California, though. They really have to be a locally-grown treat.

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. The same in our markets Mae. It’s hard to find the little zucchini with attached blossom, though common enough in Italian markets. I think I’ve finally got on to a good heirloom variety for thus feature.

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