People. We have a situation on our hands. The zucchini have officially taken over the garden. As in we don't check the garden for two days and we find 5 zucchini. And these aren't little guys by any means. The largest one is 19 inches long and 14 inches around! Seriously!?!? Where do these things hide??
As you can see, this particular zucchini has a superiority complex and has decided to take over the kitchen as well. It's larger than a bottle of wine, not to mention a pitcher, coffee maker, roll of paper towels, and a bottle of beer.
The other 4 zucchini were given to neighbors since we already had about 8 zucchini in the refrigerator.
To avoid zucchini burnout, we're going to attempt freezing zucchini slices for stir fry or pasta and grated zucchini for bread and muffins in the future. Plus, freezing is a great way to stretch out bumper crops and farmer's market impulse buys.
For freezing slices: Wash the zucchini, slice, blanch (cook in boiling water for 3 minutes), drop in an ice water bath to stop the cooking, drain it, and bag it.
For freezing grated zucchini: I read that unblanched grated zucchini freezes really well. Just grate it and pop it into a freezer bag. You can also steam blanch grated zucchini for 1-2 minutes before chilling, draining, and bagging.
To use: Let the bag or container of frozen zucchini thaw in the refrigerator or defrost in the microwave. It will be slightly mushy when thawed, so use it in soups, cooking, or baking. It won't be pleasant to eat raw with hummus.
As for what will happen with this particular beauty? Only time will tell.
Until then, I'll leave you with another zucchini recipe:
Chilled Creamy Zucchini Soup
2 shallots, minced
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 pounds of unpeeled zucchini, cut into chunks (2 medium zucchini)
1 1/2 quarts chicken stock
Handful of sage leaves (about 1 cup, loosely packed), sliced thinly
DirectionsSaute the shallots in olive oil over low heat for about five minutes, or until translucent, in a stock pot.
Add the ground ginger, zucchini chunks, chicken stock, and sage leaves.
Bring to a low boil, then simmer, covered for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and puree.
You can either use an immersion blender or conventional blender. If you use a conventional blender, let the soup cool for a little bit. When you puree in the blender, take the small lid cap off (not the whole lid). Cover the small opening with a kitchen towel and hold the lid down tight. Work in small batches if necessary.Cool the soup in the refrigerator. Serve chilled.
You can garnish the soup with salt and pepper, sour cream, crackers, paprika, additional herbs, or any combination of the above.
You can also serve the soup hot once the weather cools down.