September 11, 2010


It's the one thing you can count on (that and taxes and death). No matter if the summer is unusally hot, cold, wet, dry - zucchini will flourish to the point where you're husband says "Please, no zucchini for dinner tonight."

I really do try to keep the zucchini side-dishes to a minimum, though I have found many recipes that use 6-8 cups of zucchini that are really, really good. Even my dad, who says he hates zucchini, loves these. But there is always way more zucchini than my family can consume in one summer. I am completely opposed to forcing this veggie on my friends and co-workers, so I have come up with two other great ways to use the bounty.

First is to grate and freeze it. Frozen, shredded zucchini can be added to so many things during the fall and winter. It is a great soup thickener. Add it to meatloaf for some extra, hidden veggies. Of course there is the old stand-by of zucchini bread. We actually make muffins instead and add mini chocolate chipes. These are great additions to Jordan's sack lunches.

The other way to use up zucchini is to make relish. Last year I decided to try substituting zucchini for cuccumber in my go-to dill relish recipe. It turned out great and no one evey guesses it's zucchini. Here is the recipe:

Zucchini Dill Relish
Makes 8-9 half-pints

8 lbs zucchini
2 large yellow onions
1/2 c salt
1 tsp tumeric
1/3 c sugar
1 1/2 T dill weed
3 c white vinegar

Finely chop the zucchini and onion. Place in a large bowl and mix in salt and tumeric. Poor in enough cold water to just cover the veggies. Let sit for 2 hours. Pour into a colander and rinse with cold water. Press to remove extra liquid.
Combine zucchini with sugar, dill and vinegar in a large saucepot. Bring to boil, then simmer 10 minutes. Pack into hot half-pint jars reserving 1/2 inch head space. Remove air bubbles by running a spatual around the inside of the jar. Put hot lids on. Place in a large stock pot of water; water should be at least 1 inch above jars. Bring boil and boil, covered for 15 minutes. Remove to towel and cool to room temperature. Any jars that don't seal should be eatten with 2 weeks. Sealled jars can be stored in the pantry for 1 year.

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