As any gardener can attest, Zucchini is a plentiful vegetable, but it is also incredibly versatile, adding texture, color, fiber, nutrients, and moisture to almost any dish. Use it all - as a wrap, a roll and even confetti! Here are some recipes to get the most out of Zuchhini (can use other summer squash) as demonstrated on the 8/19/21 workshop “Saving Summer: Cooking Techniques & Tips for Using Garden Fresh Produce,” co-hosted by StopWaste, BayREN, and Kitchens2Life.
Grilled Goat Cheese Stuffed Zucchini Rolls
- 2 or 3 medium zucchinis
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 4 ounces soft goat cheese
- 2 tablespoons of fine toasted bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil or Italian parsley
- Zest of one small lemon Koasher salt and pepper
Optional: Sliced basil,1/3 cup toasted pine nuts and aged balsamic vinegar for garnish
Yield: Apx. 25 small rolls, 4 servings as an appetizer or a side dish
1. Trim off the hard stem of the zucchini cut a tiny slice off the stem end to remove the brown tip. Slice into long strips (less than ¼ inch thick if possible) using a mandoline (use the hand guard!) or a vegetable peeler. Brush with oil. Preheat a grill pan, non-stick pan or frying pan and cook zucchini for about 4 minutes on each side or until tender. Cool.
2. In a small bowl, combine the goat cheese, bread crumbs, herbs, zest and stir, blending well with a rubber spatula.
3. Put about 1 teaspoon of the cheese mixture about ½ inch from the cut end of a zucchini slice. Roll up and place seam side down on a platter. Repeat with the rest of the zucchini slices. Serve at room temperature or warm gently in a pan before serving. Garnish as desired. Enjoy as an appetizer, a side dish or a component to a plated salad.
Additional Zucchini Tips:
Noodles: The zoodle craze came and went, but this is a very viable way to enjoy zucchini. The trick is to remove the seedy inside “zoodles” and to be sure not to overcook them. I toss them in a warm sauce and that is often enough “cooking”.
Ribbons and Strips: You can make these with a mandoline or a vegetable peeler that makes thick strips. Even a sharp chef’s knife can do the trick! Ribbons can be a great addition to salads, a topping for pasta, or skewered and gently steamed for a vegetable garnish. Strips can substitute for pasta noodles, or when thicker can be cut in matchsticks or even a tiny dice for texture and garnish.
Grated: I add grated zucchini to almost all ground meat or protein mixtures such as burgers and meatballs. I add it to cooked sauces such as tomato sauce, and I stir it fresh into rice dishes, orzo, even into pesto and fresh salsas.
Recipes courtesy of Chef Rachelle, Kitchens to Life