Friday, August 24, 2012

Learning to Love Zucchini

We are more than halfway through the  Great CSA Experiment with Confreda Farms & Gardens. I can't believe how fast the summer has gone by and now the calendar is filling up again with a new school year fast approaching. The veggies keep on coming no matter what's on the schedule and I must find a purpose (or a home) for each one.

Some veggies come and go but the one that keeps cropping up in the box without fail is zucchini. I've tried to make the best of "too much of a good thing" and I have to confess, there are times when I treat it like the prodigal son of the CSA.  I know, it's awful, but I'm sure there are people out there who get things in the CSA box that they may not be crazy in love with.

I'm here to tell you, that is ok.  There is hope and I found a way to learn to love zucchini and yellow squash.  I've sauteed it, grilled it, frittata'd it, and casseroled it.  And I thought I was done with it: Until a lovely reader shared a recipe for her favorite Chocolate Zucchini Bread. Transforming a vegetable into a dessert (that contains chocolate, no less) is something I can finally get on board with.

Before you go crazy on me and think that this can't possibly taste good, you must try it. This bread (really it tastes like a rich moist chocolate cake with no trace or sign of a vegetable in it) would typically use green skinned zucchini but I tried it with yellow squash.  I didn't even peel it, just washed it and used my metal box grater and shredded it. I then squeezed out the water and added it to the recipe as instructed.  I followed the recipe to the letter and of course, added more than a cup of chocolate chips and it came out perfectly.  The recipe makes 2 loaves. I froze the other loaf by wrapping in wax paper, then foil, then in a Ziploc bag. It tasted even better after being frozen for a few days! (The recipe link also includes a lightened up version too which also sounds fantastic.)

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the zucchini too?

 Here is what to do. Shred it up and drain it as I mentioned above. Then freeze it in 1 cup increments in ziploc baggies and then keep in the freezer.  You can use it later on for fritters, zucchini breads, muffins, etc. They don't take up too much freezer space and thaw rather quickly if you run the bags under warm water or defrost in the microwave on low power.

I hope this blog has saved a few squashies from being ostracized. Please welcome them back into the family with open arms and you will realize just how sweet your life will be again!

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