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Best Zucchini Recipes for Using up All Your Darn Zucchini

by Michael McDevit
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Bon Appetit

Zucchini-Lentil Fritters With Lemony Yogurt

These crispy, crackly zucchini fritters take inspiration from the traditional Bengali onion snacks piyaju. Soaked and blended red lentils make up the batter, which is spiked with turmeric and chili powder.

INGREDIENTS

Lemony Yogurt

  • ¾ cup whole-milk yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. sugar
  • Kosher salt

Fritters

  • 1 cup red lentils (masoor dal)
  • 1 medium zucchini (about 5 oz.)
  • ½ medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1¾ tsp. kosher salt, divided, plus more
  • ½ tsp. Kashmiri chile powder or ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 cup parsley leaves with tender stems
  • 1 Tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup ghee or neutral vegetable oil

RECIPE PREPARATION

Lemony Yogurt

  • Whisk yogurt, lemon juice, and sugar in a small bowl to combine. Season with salt and whisk again to combine.
  • Do Ahead: Yogurt can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Fritters

  • Rinse lentils, then soak in 2 cups water at room temperature at least 1 hour and up to 12. Soaking the lentils for this long will make them super-plump and tender, which in turn makes them a lot easier to blend.
  • Meanwhile, trim ends of zucchini and cut crosswise into 3 pieces about 2″ long. Cut each piece lengthwise into ¼”-thick planks. Stack a few planks and slice lengthwise into ¼”-thick matchsticks (about the size of a skinny french fry). Transfer zucchini to a colander set in a medium bowl. Add onion and 1 tsp. salt to colander and toss to combine. Let zucchini and onion sit until about 1 Tbsp. liquid has released and the vegetables look wilted and soft, 30 minutes–2 hours (to maximize your downtime, do this while the lentils are soaking). Gently pat dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. The less moisture in the veggies, the less soggy your fritters will be, so be sure not to skip this step.
  • Drain lentils and transfer to a food processor. Add chile powder, turmeric, and ¾ tsp. salt. Pulse, scraping down sides, until a purée forms. Transfer to a medium bowl and add zucchini and onion mixture, parsley, and lemon zest. Toss well with a rubber spatula to combine (it will look like too much vegetables for the lentils, but that’s just what you want).
  • Heat ghee in a 10″ cast-iron skillet over medium-high until a small amount of batter added to the fat excitedly sizzles and sputters. Carefully drop ¼ cup batter into ghee, then flatten to a pancake with the back of a large metal spoon dipped into the hot ghee to prevent sticking. Repeat 3 times for a total of 4 fritters. Fry until deep golden brown on one side (look for the color of a well-fried falafel), about 3 minutes. Turn with a slotted spatula or large spoon and continue to fry until deep golden brown on the second side, about 3 minutes more. Transfer fritters to a wire rack set in a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain. Season immediately with salt. Repeat with remaining batter (you should have 8–10 fritters).
  • Transfer fritters to a platter. Serve hot with lemony yogurt alongside.

Grilled Halibut and Summer Squash with Pumpkin Seeds

If you can only find skin-on halibut, carry on: After the fish is cooked, wiggle a spatula between the skin and the fillet, and it will slip right off.

INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for grill and drizzling
  • 1 lime
  • 4 5–6-ounce skinless, boneless halibut fillets
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped unsalted, roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro, plus more for serving

RECIPE PREPARATION

  • Prepare a grill for medium heat; oil grates. Finely grate lime zest directly onto halibut and lightly drizzle with oil; season with salt and pepper. Lightly coat zucchini with oil and season with salt. Grill halibut, turning once, until browned on both sides and just opaque in the center, about 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, grill zucchini just until lightly charred on all sides but still basically raw, about 5 minutes.
  • Combine pumpkin seeds and ¼ cup oil in a small bowl; squeeze in 2 Tbsp. juice from lime and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper and mix in ½ cup cilantro.
  • Thinly slice zucchini into ribbons on a mandoline. Divide among plates and set halibut on top. Spoon pumpkin seed mixture over; top with more cilantro.

Hummus with Spiced Summer Squash and Lamb or Beef

If you’re making this hummus recipe for a finicky crowd, serve all the toppings in separate bowls and let people help themselves. Lots of toasted pita for scooping up everything is nonnegotiable.

INGREDIENTS

Hummus

  • 2 15.5-oz. cans chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup tahini
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1¼ tsp. kosher salt

Lamb/Beef

Ground Lamb – Deck Family Farm
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1½ tsp. ground coriander
  • 1½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 lb. ground lamb or beef
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced, divided
  • 1 lb. summer squash and/or zucchini, cut into ¾” pieces
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley or cilantro

RECIPE PREPARATION

Hummus

  • Process chickpeas in a food processor until powdery clumps form, about 30 seconds. Add garlic, tahini, lemon juice, and salt and process until smooth. With motor running, drizzle in ½ cup water and process until hummus is very smooth, light, and creamy. Spoon onto a large plate.

Lamb and Assembly

  • Mix together salt, coriander, cumin, and red pepper flakes (if using) in a small bowl. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add lamb and press into a large 1¼”-thick patty; sprinkle with half of spice mixture and half of garlic. Cook, without moving, until browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Turn over in pieces and cook until other side is browned and crisp, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook, breaking up and stirring, until cooked through, about 2 minutes longer. Using a slotted spoon, scoop lamb over hummus.
  • Pour out and discard fat and wipe out skillet. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil over high. Cook squash in a single layer, undisturbed, until browned, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining spice mixture and garlic and cook, stirring, until squash is coated and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Spoon squash over lamb. Drizzle with more oil and top with herbs. Serve with pita.

Summer Squash and Basil Pasta

Sautéed squash eventually gets jammy and saucy if cooked long enough, ideal as a way to coat big pieces of pasta. 

INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 pounds assorted summer squashes and zucchini, quartered lengthwise, sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo-style pepper, plus more for serving
  • 12 ounces paccheri, ziti, or other large tube pasta
  • 2 ounces Parmesan, grated (about ½ cup), plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup basil leaves, divided

RECIPE PREPARATION

  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Cook garlic, stirring occasionally, until very lightly browned around the edges, about 4 minutes. Add squash and increase heat to medium high; season with salt. Cook, tossing occasionally, until squash begins to break down. Turn down heat once it begins sticking, and continue to cook until the squash is jammy and soft, 12–15 minutes. Toss in 1 tsp. Aleppo-style pepper.
  • Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente.
  • Transfer pasta to skillet with squash using a slotted spoon or spider and add ½ cup pasta cooking liquid. Cook pasta, adding 2 oz. Parmesan in stages along with more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente. Toss in lemon juice and most of the basil.
  • Divide pasta among bowls and top with more Parmesan and Aleppo-style pepper and remaining basil.

Zucchini Bread with Oats

For a slightly more virtuous quick bread—more like breakfast, less like dessert—reduce the amount of granulated sugar to one cup.  Makes two 8 1/2×4 1/2″ loaves Servings

INGREDIENTS

  • Non-stick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 cup walnuts (optional)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3½ cups coarsely grated zucchini (from about 1 lb. zucchini)
  • 1¼ cups old-fashioned rolled oats, divided
  • 3 tablespoons raw sugar

RECIPE PREPARATION

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Spray two 8 1/2×4 1/2″ loaf pans with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a generous overhang on long sides. If using, spread walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until slightly darkened and fragrant, 8–10 minutes; let cool, then coarsely chop.
  • Whisk eggs, oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl until smooth. Whisk flour, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and nutmeg in another large bowl just to combine. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients, add egg mixture, and slowly incorporate dry ingredients with a fork (batter will look dry). Fold in zucchini, walnuts, and 1 cup oats. Scrape batter into prepared pans.
  • Toss raw sugar and remaining 1/4 cup oats in a small bowl. Sprinkle over batter and bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 70–80 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack and let bread cool in pans 30 minutes; turn out bread onto rack and let cool completely.
  • DO AHEAD: Bread can be baked 4 days ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.

Marinated Summer Vegetables

Adding veggies to the marinade while warm helps them absorb more flavor.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 summer squash or zucchini (about 1 pound), sliced on a diagonal 1/2-inch thick
  • 3 red, orange, or yellow bell peppers, cut into 1 inch strips
  • 1 med eggplant
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons Sherry or red wine vinegar
  • Tlbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 4 sprigs oregano or fresh Basil

RECIPE PREPARATION

  • Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 475°. Place squash, eggplant, and peppers on separate baking sheets. Drizzle each sheet of vegetables with 1/2 tablespoon oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Spread out in a single layer, turning peppers skin side up.
  • Roast peppers on upper rack and squash & eggplant on lower rack, turning once, until tender, 15–20 minutes. Let cool slightly; remove skins from peppers.
  • Whisk garlic, vinegar, lemon juice and remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add vegetables and oregano; toss to coat. Cover and let sit at least 1 hour.
  • DO AHEAD: Vegetables can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill; bring to room temperature before serving.
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