By Stett Holbrook
If you've got a garden, chances are you've got more zucchini than you know what to do with. Before you drop off those freakishly large specimens of squash on the doorsteps of unsuspecting neighbors, consider these ideas:
Zucchini pancakes: Steaming zucchini is boring. Try this instead: Grate a couple of zucchini, salt lightly and set in a strainer. Let drain for a half-hour and then press out the moisture with a dry towel. In a bowl, combine the zucchini with a raw egg, a handful of bread crumbs, some chopped Italian parsley and pepper. Mix it all together, shape into patties and fry in butter or olive oil until golden brown. Serve with a squirt of lemon juice and a dab of mayonnaise.
Sautéed zucchini: Grate zucchini and sauté slowly in a skillet with butter, salt and pepper. Cook it down until all the moisture is gone and the zucchini becomes soft and almost creamy. It cooks down to nothing, so use several zucchini.
Zucchini seeds: Those bowling-pin-sized zucchini are too coarse and woody to eat, so here's what you do. Cut them open and scrape out the seeds. Place the seeds on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with vegetable oil and salt and roast at 250 degrees for 30 minutes or so.
Zucchini bread: Recipes for this delicious, barely sweet bread abound. I like the one in The All New, All-Purpose Joy of Cooking.
Zucchini jack-o'-lanterns: Who says you have to wait until October to carve squash? Amaze family and friends with your long-headed creations and unusual use of your spare time. Best suited to large zucchini.
From the August 24-30, 2005 issue of the North Bay Bohemian.
© 2005 Metro Publishing Inc.