Did your neighbor just surreptitiously drop a bag of zucchini on your doorstep and run? Did you just uncover a zucchini club in your own garden that somehow escaped your notice for the past few days while it was growing into a gargantuan green nightmare? Did your otherwise lovable CSA bury you in summer squash? I have solutions, and they do not involve zucchini bread (which is good, but you can only eat so much). Instead of lasagna noodles, how about using thinly sliced giant zucchini? Instead of eggplant parmesan, how about using that same overgrown zucchini? Are you trying to go low-carb? Use larger (but not giant) zucchini to make ribbon strips of fettuccine!
To make zucchini lasagna, slice the zucchini fairly thinly across the club and fry in a shallow pan in just a little oil (as in a few squirts of spray oil), turning once as the zucchini browns. Then layer marinara sauce (with or without meat) with the zucchini slices–evenly spaced across your baking pan and overlapped if necessary to get full coverage–and mozzarella and a thin grating of real parmesan cheese. I’ll bet even the dedicated squash haters in your family will love it. As one friend said to me years ago of a squash dish with cheese, “Well, of course I liked this squash. You covered it in cheese!”
For zucchini parmesan, use thicker slices, and dredge the slices in egg and bread crumbs before frying if you want. Layer as indicated for zucchini lasagna. Add seasoned bread crumbs to the top if you did not bread the slices before frying. It’s so easy! Serve with a big salad and crusty bread.
For zucchini fettuccine, cut ribbons of zucchini using a vegetable peeler. You can blanche the ribbons in salted boiling water for a minute or two before using or just toss with hot marinara or alfredo sauce.
Do not fear the giant zucchini! It’s an opportunity.
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