When green zucchini and yellow summer squash start to ripen in the early summer, it seems every gardener has gourds to spare for friends, family and neighbors. Having extra zucchini should never be considered a curse, though.
The tasty crop can be made into almost anything, from bread and noodles to spicy relish and ramen.
Here are eight ways to prepare zucchini that will help you make the most of this summer’s harvest.
Tangy golden relish
This recipe for tangy golden relish is a riff on a classic zucchini relish that uses yellow summer squash, like Zephyr and crookneck. Not only does the condiment look gorgeous, but the flavor is superb, adding a perfect punch to sandwiches, burgers or however you might want to use it.
Squash ribbon salad with dill
A pinch of vinegar, drizzle of yogurt and dash of dill to curly ribbons of zucchini make for a perfectly punchy cool summer salad. Using a combination of green zucchini and yellow summer squash adds an extra aesthetic punch to this refreshing recipe for squash ribbon salad with dill.
Chorizo stuffed zucchini boats
This recipe for chorizo stuffed zucchini boats makes the most of those plump zucchinis that seem to double in size overnight. The zesty filling is delicious inside the tender baked zucchini. You can easily make this a meal by serving it with a big salad or fresh bread.
Ramen noodles with fresh vegetables
Take that basic package of ramen noodles to the next level by adding summery zucchini, piquant peppers, juicy fresh peas and whatever else you might have growing in your garden. This recipe for ramen noodles with fresh vegetables turns this classic college snack into a meal fit for the finest home chef.
Roasted summer squash with couscous
If you’re looking for warmer fare for a cool summer night, try this recipe for roasted summer squash with couscous. If you swap in fresh squash for frozen, this flavorful dish makes the most of the roasted squash flavor while topping it all off with a crispy bread crumb crust.
Turn one zucchini into a dozen tasty and sweet treats with this recipe for zucchini muffins. Simply shred the zucchini and add it to the batter, subtly sweetened with brown sugar and spiced with cinnamon. It all comes together in one bowl for minimum dishwashing (and maximum deliciousness).
Think of these crispy fried zucchini pancakes like a summertime latke that can be enjoyed hot or cold. Add a pinch of garlic, onion, scallions, chili powder, basil or oregano to the batter for extra flavor, and top it with whatever condiment tickles your fancy: salsa, chili sauce, aioli, sour cream or even a ranch dressing.
Cinnamon zucchini bread
Who knew that cinnamon, nutmeg and zucchini would be a match made in heaven? The warm spices pair well with juicy zucchini for a bread that is delectable, tender and moist. A slice of this cinnamon zucchini bread will bring a little coziness to even the sweatiest summer day.
With these eight recipes, you’ll begin to see big gourds and bumper crops of zucchini a little different — as something to be celebrated in the kitchen.