Zucchini Galore!
July 19, 2004 6:55 AM   Subscribe

Squashfilter: I am on the verge of harvesting a LOT of zucchini from my garden. Is it possible to pickle it and preserve it in some way? Anyone have any good recipes?

When I say a LOT, I mean more than we could possibly give away and eat before going bad. I'm already planning on making some bread out of it, and I've heard that you can also blanche it and freeze it, but I'm now investigating ways to preserve it in jars.
posted by archimago to Food & Drink (20 answers total)
You can cut it into spears or slices and pickle it like you would a cuke. My mom does it, and they're awesome-- think half-sour texture with fully-pickled flavor.

The spears are a lot better- it's the harder, outermost parts that are the best part and you get more of that with a spear. If you let the squash get too big, though, you will need to cut some of the pulp off the narrow part of the spear because too much soft on the top detracts. My mom uses a six-segment apple-corer and she either throws away the center pulp cylander or uses it in bread.

Now I'm daydreaming of the day when my mom sticks a half-dozen jars in the car when I visit!
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:16 AM on July 19, 2004

This thread in rec.food.preserving has a few ideas.
posted by sanitycheck at 7:17 AM on July 19, 2004

Darnit, wrong squash. A former roommate is the greatest American woman in the history of the sport and I was all ready to wax poetic on that fact...but alas....

Google "canning squash" and you'll have more info than you ever imagined. Also, squash jellies are great and can be made easily in high volume. Lastly, have you considered your local food bank or soup kitchen? High volume ones will accept fresh food.
posted by m@ at 7:21 AM on July 19, 2004

zucchini is courgette, right? Like small marrow? Then you can make some good chutneys out of it IIRC.
posted by twine42 at 7:21 AM on July 19, 2004

Yes, pickle them, following any pickle recipe (cut in slices or spears, as sMayor Curley stated). They're better than cucumber pickles.

Also, cut into small cubes and boil with pasta for pasta dishes.

Slice thin, drizzle with olive oil and basil, and roast in oven til lightly browned.

Pureed (either before or after freezing) zucchini is not bad, in conjunction with chicken broth, as a base for some soups.
posted by yesster at 8:30 AM on July 19, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks everyone, and I especially like the idea of donating to food banks!!
posted by archimago at 8:43 AM on July 19, 2004

Three fabulous recipes, all disgustingly easy:

Sauteed Squash/Zucchini

one sliced zucchini
butter for frying
a few shakes of nutmeg

Just saute it with the nutmeg. Outrageously delish. You can add some chopped onion if you like, too. People go insane over this, believe it or not. It's the nutmeg, which brings out the sweetness of the squash.

Squash/Zucchini Scramble

one sliced zucchini
butter for frying
3 eggs, mixed

Fry the zucchini for about 3 minutes, add the rest of the ingredients, and make scrambled eggs. Luscious. Add garlic and chopped fresh tomato for even more yumminess.

No Bean Hummus

peel and chop one zucchini (or yellow squash)
the juice from half a lemon
2 garlic cloves
some salt and pepper
a tablespoon of tahini (or almond butter)
dash of cayenne (very optional)

Puree it all for a minute or two. Strain it through some cheesecloth if you like, I just eat it as is. Eat it with sliced veggies, or some nice pita bread. This is a 'raw' recipe - I eat this a lot.

If you end up with rotting zucchini on your hands, remember to compost it for next year - your garden will repay you twofold.
posted by iconomy at 9:01 AM on July 19, 2004 [3 favorites]

Shred and freeze for bread, or quarter and blanch before freezing whole. Fresh zuke all winter!

grumbles because the squash bugs killed all my zucchini
posted by tr33hggr at 9:02 AM on July 19, 2004

posted by LairBob at 9:26 AM on July 19, 2004

Compost Heap!
posted by five fresh fish at 9:45 AM on July 19, 2004

It's easy to freeze if you just want to use it for baking later on. Freeze in cubes or shredded and then use it later. You do know the zucchini joke though right?

Q. Why don't you leave your windows rolled down in your car in New Jersey [or Vermont, or wherever] in the Summer?

A. Because you'll come back and your car will be filled with zucchini!

Which is my polite way of saying that it's possible the food banks do not want your zucchini.
posted by jessamyn at 11:29 AM on July 19, 2004

Slice three large squash, sautee with onion, oregano, pepper, whatever. Add about a pound of mozzarella and sharp cheddar. Two eggs, or eggbeaters. Coat two pie shells with brown mustard. Pour the squash slop in and bake. Mmmmmm! Pie!
posted by rainbaby at 11:43 AM on July 19, 2004

archimago - you could slice the squashes and dry them out a lot, thus making "squash chips".

Who knows - it might become the newest health food rage.

You also could do a writeup about your radical new "squash based" diet that transformed your life.

Then, sell the squashes to diet-faddists who come flocking to your door.
posted by troutfishing at 12:53 PM on July 19, 2004

At least, dry the seeds - they're a bit like pumpkin seeds, no ? - Probably very nutritious.
posted by troutfishing at 12:55 PM on July 19, 2004

Oh - I've got it!

Puree the excess squashes and freeze them into giant rectangular squash-cubes. You can make them into soup later, and they'll also reduce the energy consumption of your fridge. Plus, if there's a power outage, they'll keep your freezer cold !
posted by troutfishing at 12:57 PM on July 19, 2004

I think I can get away with this under UK copyright: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has a recipe for 'glutney' - a chutney supposed to deal with this very problem, but I can't find a link to it anywhere.

So in my own words, but with his idea:

1kg marrows/courgettes/zucchinis
1kg red or green tomatoes or the same plums
1kg apples
500g onions
500g sultanas or raisins
500g light brown sugar
750ml white wine/cider vinegar (add water to make a litre)
1-3 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp salt
spice bag: thumb sized bit of ginger, chopped up; a dozen cloves; a dozen peppercorns; 1 tsp coriander seeds; couple of blades of mace. Tie these up in muslin as a spice bag.
  • Chop the courgette into 1cm cubes
  • If tomatoes, then scald, peel and chop. If plums, stone and chop
  • Dice the apples and onions.
  • Put everything in a really big pan, and push the spice bag that you've made up into the middle.
  • Heat it gently, stirring while the sugar dissolves, and bring slowly to the boil.
  • Simmer for about 2-3 hours without a cover. Make sure you stir occasionally so that it doesn't stick. You'll know it's ready when it "parts to reveal the base of the pan when a wooden spoon is dragged through it"
  • Put your new chutney into sterilised jars
Hope that helps - I'm sorry about the metric measurements, but I couldn't keep the computer away from the other half long enough to work out the conversions for you. HFW suggests that it mature for at least 2 weeks and preferably 2 months before eating. After that, it'll be good with cold meats, cheese, in sandwiches etc.
posted by calico at 1:07 PM on July 19, 2004

my mother makes shredded vegetable pancakes (much like a shredded potato pancake: just add pepper and a beaten egg to the shredded vegetables, shape into pancakes, fry on stovetop; place on a rack over a cookie sheet and in a warm over to get all the batches to the table at the same temperature). zucchini does freeze well when shredded; so you can run excess zukes through the food processor, store them in gallon ziplock bags, then make them into pancakes in the winter.

you can even freeze the pancakes after you fry them, but i think they last better the other way around.
posted by crush-onastick at 1:08 PM on July 19, 2004

archimago - you could slice the squashes and dry them out a lot, thus making "squash chips".

Hehe. I've done this! I coat them with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and then dehydrate them into chips. Which I then use as a scoop to eat my No Bean Hummus.

Q. Why don't you leave your windows rolled down in your car in New Jersey [or Vermont, or wherever] in the Summer?

A. Because you'll come back and your car will be filled with zucchini!

Hah...I love it. It's funny because it's true.

I also make "pasta" from my zucchini, using my handy-dandy Saladacco. I swear, you would never know that this wasn't real pasta. If you make a marinara from sun-dried tomatoes to top these "noodles", you can have yourself a little feast.
posted by iconomy at 1:22 PM on July 19, 2004

I should mention that, aside from compost heaps, zucchini make good chocolate cake. Very moist.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:21 PM on July 19, 2004

Zuchinni make awesome ammunition. Try hitting people with them. Try building a zuchinni cannon.

There's nothing like exploiting squash for fun and profit!
posted by blasdelf at 7:47 PM on July 19, 2004

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