What to do with extra homegrown zucchini

It is said that two zucchini plants produce enough zucchinis for a family of four to eat as much as they can for the entire summer. This year I grew three zucchini plants for the two of us, which meant way too much of it if we were to stick only to our traditional Persian style zucchini stew.

Almost every single morning I checked on my vegetable garden I found a new baby zucchini turned into a huge heavy one almost before my eyes. So, even with all I gave away to family and friends I still had to come up with new creative ways to consume this delicious vegetable.

Below is some of the stuff I tried and was quite happy with the result.

Grilled Zucchini I washed and cut unpeeled zucchini into fairly large pieces, sprinkled salt and barbequed them on both sides.

The barbecued zucchini is an excellent addition to any summer main meal be it barbecued chicken or meat kabab or juts other vegetables.

The barbecued zucchini is also very tasty when served with yogurt and herbs along with bread as a Persian side dish.

Finally, grilled zucchini can be cut into small pieces to go in any type of salad.

Blended zucchini: Put small pieces of washed zucchini in blender and mix it with tahini, cooked beans, olive oil, lemon juice, turmeric, salt and pepper – here is the detailed recipe.

Zucchini dip is tasty and refreshing with raw vegetables or chips.

It can also be used as spread to make sandwiches.

Zucchini blooms: Zucchini blooms taste very good and look amazing in your salad. We just need to be careful not to pick the ones that produce zucchini though.

As you might know, a zucchini plant produces both male and female blossoms. Male blossoms appear at the end of slender stems, like shown in the picture, and do not set fruit. Their job is to provide the pollen for bees to carry to the female blooms. This is how female blooms swell and produce fruits. The number of male blooms you get throughout the summer is usually more than what you need to have your female ones pollinated. For this reason we need to make sure  to pick male blooms for our salad – the ones at the end of long slender stems. Do not start picking these flowers early in the season though, or you won’t get any fruit at all.

Thoroughly wash the flowers. Cut them in half and use in salad raw just like that. Frying them will diminish the color and taste.

Grated zucchini: Finally you could grate raw zucchini to make zucchini frittata.

There are many recipes on the internet for this. I will share mine with you soon in a separate blog entry.

All I can tell you is that it is very fast and easy and it turns hard on the outside and tender in the inside. So stay tuned!

Share with us what YOU make with green/yellow zucchini.


Summer Dip with Zucchini, white beans and tahini

I found the recipe for this delicious and easy dip in PRAVA organic site and modified it slightly to my taste. You could do the same I am sure as long as you keep the main ingredients in: It is a vegetarian recipe and completely gluten and dairy free.

Ingredients Read the rest of this entry »


Red-lentil stew, vegetarian with tamarind

daalDaal adas is one of the rare meatless Iranian stew (khoresh) and is very popular in South and South-west Iran  (Bushehr, Hormozgan and khuzestan provinces), where food is generally more spicy than other parts of the country. Like any given khoresh or dish, daal adas is prepared in different ways in various households. The way my Bushehri mom used to cook it, often when she was in hurry, is the one I came to like and learn.

Ingredients: (serving 4-5): Red lintel, 2 cups. Onion, 1 medium, thinly sliced. Potato, 1 medium, skinned and cut in four pieces. Garlic cloves (ideally green or fresh) 3-4 cloves, finely minced. Tomato sauce 1/2 tbsp. (or one cup of V8). Tamarind sauce, 3 tbsp (see note and picture below). Turmeric, ½ tbs. Powdered red pepper, 1/4 tbsp. Salt, to the taste. Cooking oil, 5 tbsp. Water, 4 cups, or 3 cups if you are using V8

Read the rest of this entry »