20 Ways to Use Your Zukes

Zucchini and summer squash are abundant during the hottest months, and here’s an abundance of ideas for putting these goodies to good use.

| June/July 2011

Zucchini and Summer Squash

The possibilities are endless! Add slices of squash to soups, stews, curries, stir-fries, pizzas, pasta, kabobs, pots of beans and rice, and so much more.


When it comes to zucchini and other summer squash (such as pattypan and yellow crookneck) the high season translates into big quantities of fresh goods that come with little price tags — especially if you grow your own. Your task in the kitchen is to let your mind expand and find as many clever ways as you can to prepare summer squash. These blank canvases of the summer kitchen can be served raw or cooked; shredded, sliced or diced; and can be included in practically any meal. Eventually, you’ll get brave enough to hide some in almost every dish and never tell a soul. Don’t worry — this supporting actor is happy to be part of an ensemble cast as you let other, more flavorful or expensive characters charm your audience.

What follows is by no means an exhaustive list of summer squash preparation ideas. You’ll find many more on the Web and in cookbooks, and we’d love for you to share your own tips and recipes by posting a comment below.

1.  Serve raw chunks alongside other crudité veggies with creamy dips.

2.  Grate raw squash into fresh green salads.

3.  Drizzle vinaigrette over julienned strips for a quick summer salad.

4.  Steam slices for an easy side dish.

Andrea Andres
7/15/2012 6:27:19 PM

You can also shred it and use it in smoothies - especially 'green hulk' smoothies, as we call them, with spinach, banana, strawberries, yogurt, honey and orange juice.

6/30/2012 7:49:35 PM

I wring grated zucchini out in a linen dish towel. I then mix with other grated veggies, egg, bread crumbs and spices, form it into patties and fry. The mixture should be the consistence of uncooked meatloaf. That is a signature summer dish of this household. The bigger and starchier the zucchini, the better. If interested I could expand on the topic.

Marcie W
6/29/2012 5:18:54 PM

and don't forget the chickens ... they love fresh squash, zukes and cucumber, sliced and served to them. Our chickens run for them in this HOT weather. They get a cool treat and extra water too.

nan fischer
7/3/2011 7:48:41 AM

I like to saute zuke slices or chunks with onions and garlic, herbs of choice (basil, tarragon, dill weed, savory, sage, marjoram, oregano or whatever else is in the garden), add a few paste tomatoes or marinara sauce, and serve with jack cheese melted on top. Great side or main dish. I also like to roast zuke slices or chunks in a Dutch oven with potatoes, beets, an onion, carrots and cabbage. Great fall dish! You can add chicken or tofu, too. The variations are endless. Long live zucchini!

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