Backyard Bounty: Zucchinis

Backyard Bounty: Zucchinis

Zucchinis: The high achiever

Many keen gardeners find themselves with basket loads of zucchini at this time of year. If not picked promptly, these babies can grow into beasts known as marrow – good for stuffing but not a lot else.

While it is possible to have too much of a good thing, zucchini is not one of those things. From savoury stir fry to sweet treats, used raw in salads or sneakily invisible in kid-friendly dinners, this versatile vege can go in a nommy number of different directions.

Bake it in a cake

It might seem like an odd ingredient to the uninitiated but zucchini adds amazing richness to chocolate cake. Some recipes use up to 3 cups of grated zuks, making this great for those looking to add greens to their family’s diet. Surprisingly indulgent and deliciously chocolatey, this is a people pleasing way to use up extra produce.

Make oodles of zoodles

If you’ve dabbled with carb or gluten free diets or scrolled healthy eating insta pages in recent years, you’re likely to have come across zoodles. Using a spiralizer (a nifty device that cuts veges into spaghetti-like strands), a mandolin or even just a julienne peeler, zucchinis can take on the look and feel of a noodle. Most converts use them raw for extra nutrients, adding pasta sauces and toppings for flavour. Others might saute them with a little garlic and olive oil for taste, or microwave them to warm them slightly. Zoodles use oodles of zucchini, so this is another clever way to clear your vege drawer.

Couple it for caponata 

Combined with another summer bounty - eggplants - caponata is a winner for dinner. The combination of sweetness from the raisins and the roasted capsicum, plus the tangy goodness of tomato and zucchini and richness of roasted eggplant makes this Sicilian dish a firm favourite for summer evenings - with leftovers to last well beyond the next day's lunch. Eat it with pasta, pita bread, crispbreads or even on its own.

Zucchini? What zucchini? 

For parents of picky eaters, we present: the humble zucchini. Grated raw and added to kid staples such as spaghetti bolognese, the subtle flavour all but disappears into the savoury, tomatoey mix, appearing (if it is seen) like another piece of grated cheese. You could also add it to chilli for a nacho dish, or in corn fritters (you might want to peel the green skin off to get this one past a more observant offspring).