Saturday, July 10, 2010

Zucchini Harvest Has Begun

Hubby brought in about 25 pounds of zucchini today from the garden, so I need to start using it creatively. I want to start with my new Excalibur Food Dehydrator, and this blog post from Walnut Spinney has some great ideas for that and for other uses.

Traditionally we use a recipe I once found in Farm Woman Magazine, which in the late 80s changed its name to Country Woman, and actually started out as Farm Wife! Here's where I figured that out.

These ladies knew what to do with a lot of extra zucchini. Though this recipe starts with sausage you could use something vegan if you wanted to, or otherwise add flavor as desired. The real bonus is that it uses up a LOT of zucchini:

In the biggest skillet you have, brown about one-half to one pound of sliced sausage (kielbasa, smoked sausage, Italian sausage, etc.) Add to the skillet a couple of chopped onions and a couple of cloves of garlic, smashed. When the onion has softened, add a huge pile of shredded zucchini and cook down until the zucchini has softened and some of the liquid has evaporated. Add a can of chopped tomatoes, or fresh, and just before serving add some oregano, basil, salt and pepper, and the secret ingredient, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. You may add parmesan at the end if you like and eat like a stew in a bowl, with or without a side of crusty bread, or on top of pasta or our favorite, rice. Depending on how you steer the seasonings, you can go more Italian, Creole, Middle Eastern, Indian, or in another direction entirely.

Tonight I'm making a variation on this, starting with chunks from a giant zucchini, olive oil (not much), onion, garlic, a jarred roasted red pepper, a can of diced tomatoes, several marinated green olives, a dash of balsamic vinegar, fresh oregano and basil, and several turkey meatballs (the nutritarians can leave these behind in the skillet :-) ). I'm making whole-wheat spaghetti to serve it over.

And now to go start making some of those zucchini chips for the dehydrator!


  1. Have you tried zucchini bacon yet? That is a good zucchini use up too. I haven't made that yet this year. Maybe I should work on a no oil version. Hmmm, sound like a pending experiment at my house. ;-)

    When I was young my mom used to add zucchini to marinara and serve it over pasta. That has always been one of my favorite comfort food meals. Your dish reminded me of that. Thanks for the memory.

    BTW, I am very jealous of your 25 pounds of zucchini. I would be in zucchini pasta heaven, LOL.


  2. Thanks, Alicia. Since we're not vegan around here, bacon is one of those things I'd rather just have in very small quantity in its original form, but maybe I'll experiment sometime. I made several kinds of zucchini "chips" in the dehydrator the other day with different seasonings--very interesting! I think I'm going to take the giant one and cube it to dehydrate plain to add to soups and things later. Somehow I don't like big "rounds" of squash in my soup--ick.

    I was happy to see how small it dried down to!

  3. Oh, and I saw someone recently blog about an eggplant bacon--that seems intriguing, since the eggplant has some zip to it naturally.


I'd love to know what you think of these or if you have suggestions for improvements!