You know what summer means:
People joke about drowning in zucchini in July and August; taking to hiding it in the neighbour’s car or on the porch just to get rid of it. But zucchini is not a burden now that I know a couple cooking tricks that help deal with a lot of vegetable matter fast.
We all know you can freeze shredded zucchini for later. Get out the Cuisinart, put on the large shredder attachment and go to town. Freeze the zucchini in 1 or 2 cup packages and you are done. Except for cleaning the Cuisinart. Why is that such a drag?
Did you know you can cut larger piece of zucchini then blanch and freeze them? You can! If you freeze the pieces separately on a cookie sheet first, they won’t clump together in a big mass. Once they are frozen, you can put them into your freezer container and use only as many as you want at a time.
But here’s my favourite way to freeze zucchini: as soup base. It’s delicious. I get so excited when I find it in my freezer in the middle of winter!
Infinitely flexible, this recipe is easy and uses up a lot of weird big zucchini fast. My version is based on a recipe from Lynne Rossetto-Kasper of the Splendid Table Podcast. It is here on the website.
My brother-in-law taught me how delicious zucchini is on the grill. He used a simple sauce of lemon and soy sauce to baste the zucchini at very regular intervals. Very, very regular intervals.
I hate to baste over the grill – it’s too hot! So I do the seasoning ahead of time using this tip I found in Fine Cooking. Salt does the job of flavouring while removing some of the water from the squash so it cooks faster. See the instructions here.
Once the squash is mostly cooked, you can finish with the sauce of your choice. I still like that lemon/soy combo. Also balsamic/soy/basil is really good. But last week I found a new favourite.
Another shout out to the Splendid Table, this time to Francis Lam the current host. He mentioned making a tahini-soy sauce lately that he’s “putting on everything.” I McGivered a recipe for it and we used it on grilled zucchini and turnips one night. Yum.
Here it is roughly, but you can adapt it to your taste:
4T Soy Sauce
1teas. Sambal Olek (or Sriracha), or more
+ a little water to thin if needed.
Mix it all together then use it as a dip, marinade or eat it off the spoon.
Now I want to keep all the zucchini.