Friday, August 7, 2009

In which I cook a GIANT zucchini.

I've been reading a lot lately about how to cook in season vegetables from the farmer's market, or your garden - well here's a vegetable we all come home to after a week-long vacation and have no idea what to do with! Yesterday at work, my coworker gave me a GIANT (like, 6 lb.) zucchini. How big? Check this out:

How the heck and I going to cook this thing? Well, one year when I was about 13 we came home from the family vacation in Maine to find zucchini just like this in the garden out back. Prevailing wisdom is that summer squash left to grow this big is stringy, tough, and bitter. Suitable for maybe grating into a zucchini loaf, and nothing else. I'm afraid to admit, I think we tossed ours. But my 13 year old head was buzzing with ideas... and that's when I came up with zucchini parm (like eggplant parm, only... you get it). Haven't had an opportunity to make it until now... no giant zucchini have crossed my path since that summer... UNTIL NOW!

Of course, I had to update the zucchini parm idea a little. For one thing, I had no mozzarella in the fridge. As I started thinking about recipes, I realized I better cut into this zucchini. This could be a battle.

My good chef's knife only made a dent. I switched to a bread knife for the benefit of the sawing motion. This thing is like a tree. And it smells more like a pumpkin than a zucchini! There were some seeds big enough to roast like pumpkin seeds (now there's a project for another day!), and the very center was stringy. So I made rounds.

Wave to some of my pottery in the background... hi garlic jar!

After dipping the rounds in egg & bread crumbs and frying, I decided to make these in individual tart pans, filling the center with a slice of tomato, also from my coworker's garden. (Thanks Alison!)

Then pesto. Then brie with herbs.

Then another round of zucchini with tomato.

Then bake at 350 for 20 minutes. YUM!

Yay! And... that was just half the zucchini.


  1. If you add pesto to anything (even zucchini) it has to be good. Those pictures might have sold me too. It looks like a veggie pizza.

  2. These look so good. And I love the comicbook-level integration of words and images :)

  3. Future Food Network star! I can see it now.