Yesterday, proof positive that summer is on the wane arrived in the form of 2022’s first outsized zucchini. These came from SIL’s garden planters.
My father in his retirement always grew zucchini in his large garden. Mostly, he waited to harvest them until they were the size of Zeppelins. Mom struggled to keep up, resorting to making bread from as many as she could manage, and frying Frisbee-sized slices. Dad gifted the remainder to “grateful” friends and neighbors.
So, besides those uses, what do you make with these behemoths? I hear stuffing “boats” of zucchini is popular, but these are so big, I’d be eating leftovers for a week.
If you are using the massive ones for fritters or zucchini bread, peel them and seed them before shredding, salting, squeezing. I end up throwing out the entire centre. In the large zukes, it has a styrofoam like texture compared to the flesh between the peel and the centre.
I’ve stuffed giant zucchini. I have no shortage of zucchini, so now I compost them if they’re more than 10-12 inches long.
Call me quaint, but I have a difficult time wasting food.
In my dad’s case (and being a Depression baby), he grew those monsters to use and share with others as food. With all the gardening steps and time taken to grow them, IMO it’d be a sin to not try to use them for food.
Were I a gardener, I definitely wouldn’t grow them to that size, and I might not plant them at all.
The big ones don’t taste as good. When I stuff them, we end up eating the stuffing and often tossing the zucchini part.
I would peel, seed and drain a big one, to use in fritters/bread/frittata/ freeze for later, if I didn’t have smaller zucchini available. But if it’s a 10 lb zucchini, it’ll be better food for my trees and garden as compost than for me as food.
We are frugal ourselves - my parents always had a big garden when I grew up in mid-century Ohio. Zucchini was not something they ever planted. Myself and my 5 brothers were slave labor but we always ate well. I never experienced hyperventilation from dealing with an out of control vegetable until my husband started planting them in his retirement. I do not bake, or like sweet things and a baseball bat zucchini is a nightmare.
We like to grate it, wring out the liquid, and keep a big box of the prepared zucchini in the fridge. Then slip a little or lot of it into everything humanly possible. We’re eating a lot of zucchini scrambles, egg-bakes and/or muffins for breakfast these days. Dinner on Thursday is zucchini-chicken meatballs.
Skinnytaste just recently posted a recipe for zucchini “parmesan” using bigger zucchini. She also did a ground turkey meatloaf with shredded zucchini recently.
I like to use the big guys for a cheesy squash casserole that I’ve adapted from a Paula Deen recipe that I found years ago. I also like to hollow them out, stuff with cream cheese, and top with marinara sauce, fresh basil/parsley/oregano. Yum!
I once made a savory zucchini bread that used Bisquick and was topped with some marinara. It was excellent and like 18+ years later I’ve never been able to find a similar recipe.
“Zoodles” are another use-it-up prep. I do this often enough in the summer to justify having one of those Oxo vegetable spiralizers, though I couldn’t see buying a spiralizer if we didn’t receive a pile of zucchini and summer squash from our farm share every summer. You’d need to be able to cut that jumbo zucchini into pieces that the spiralizer could handle. Though maybe that big squash is too seedy to spiralize with success? Hmmm.