The question of my week is… What should I do with a giant zucchini?
I neglected my garden for a few days and look what happened! I ended up with a giant zucchini.
I actually made the hubs come outside and look at it because I was so surprised at its jumbo statue! I know, I know… maybe I should get out more?
I spent a good 5 minutes debating the merit of leaving the enormous edible on the plant and letting it grow (Could I have a record size zucchini on my hands?) or picking it and figuring out what to do with it. I googled the world’s largest zucchini and discovered I wasn’t even close (over seven feet) so I plucked it off the plant, along with a full garden haul!
I knew that if I left this one on the plant it probably would keep me from getting any other small and sweet zucchini this year.
So what do I do with the monstrous produce?
I name it Zeke and I take it to work. Yes, I know… get out more.
I thought my coworkers would get a big kick out of it and we could ask WLOS viewers what I should do with it. Since I’m only playing this TV game for a few more short weeks, I thought I might as well have some fun!
We did just that, and Zeke was a hit! There are so many great cooks and gardeners in the area so I got all sorts of amazing suggestions on what to do with him. I even found out my colossal veggie wasn’t that uncommon.
Here are some of the suggestions I got for what to do with my giant zucchini….
- Sheet Pan Shrimp & Zoodles
- Oven Baked Parmesan Zucchini Fries with Greek Yogurt Ranch
- No Noodle Vegetarian Zucchini Lasagna
- Tomato Parmesan Zoodles
- Pistachio Pesto Zoodles
- Grilled Vegetable Sandwich with Homemade Herbed Goat Cheese
- Grilled Vegetable Platter with Whipped Goat Cheese Dip
Now that is a serious zucchini roundup. Thanks, everyone! I’m thinking this is going to be the summer of the zucchini, so I’m probably going to have enough bounty to make all of the great suggestions. But considering my serious mid-week lack of time I decided to go with one of the most practical suggestions I heard.
Shred Zeke, make zucchini bread and freeze what you don’t use.
When I got home I took out my grater and knife and…… I paused. I thought POOR Zeke!
Life lesson 367, NEVER name your food. Even if it’s a vegetable.
So I had a nice little moment of silence for Zeke, who I had carried around all morning wrapped in a dishtowel, and dived into the grating project.
I cut out the worst of the seeds in the center and shredded away.
Ever wonder how much grated zucchini you could get out of something like this?
Well, Zeke made seven cups of grated zucchini.
I put four cups of the shreds aside for freezing. I separated them into two cup portions, put them in individual zip lock bags, labeled and dated them, and then put those bags in a bigger freezer bag more suited for the freezer.
I set one cup away in my fridge to add to some pasta later in the week and with the last two cups, I made this…
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
Enjoy… Because we did!
Whoever thought something SO tasty could come from shredded vegetables!
Inspired and Adapted from Paula Deen & Betty Crocker
1 cup olive oil (or vegetable oil)
⅓ cup water
2 cups grated zucchini
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup chocolate chips
1. Pre-Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Butter and flour two 8x4 loaf pans
3. Start with your wet ingredients! Beat the eggs and then add the oil and water. Fold in zucchini and vanilla.
4. In another bowl combine your dry ingredients. Carefully mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda & salt. Add the nuts and chocolate chips to the mix.
5. Slowly pour and stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
6. Pour batter into the 2 loaf pans
7. Bake for 55 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.
This is a recipe even Zeke would be proud of!
What do you do with your zucchini? Please share your ideas in the comments!
Maureen Cleveland says
I had a huge zucchini given to me and found this online. I shredded it all up (9 cups) and made the zucchini bread (used 2 cups for this and froze the rest). However, I substituted the regular flour with almond flour and rice flour (didn't have enough of either), and the sugar with coconut sugar. I never tried substituting before and haven't baked anything for years so was not sure how it would come out. The result was something so moist that it does not hold together well, but tastes pretty good. But it is very dark like chocolate and tastes more like a chocolate cake. I wasn't real happy with that since I had my taster set for something more like zucchini bread, but it is good and I will eat it. Will try it without the choc. chips next time, though. I did freeze one of the loaf pans since I live by myself. All in all, am glad I did it!
Jamaica Connally says
Thank you!!! I had 2 HUMONGOUS zucchinis that I had no idea what to do with. I typed in “what do I do with a gigantic zucchini?” You and your tips popped up. Shredded it, froze some, left some in fridge for pasta, and made bread. All exactly as you did. Life saver!
If anyone tries the noodles, don't worry if some of them are connected (like a ribbon) at first. With just a little bit of cooking, the connective part disappears and you have nice zucchini noodles.
the noodles are great for Chang Mai noodles, which are the cover picture for this great book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0811837319?pc_redir=1405491930&robot_redir=1
I think the recipe has meat in it, but we often do it without
we also make noodles from carrots and sweet potatoes - anything firm enough would work
Thanks Eric! This looks so yummy!
I have forwarded UR blog to my daughter - as she also recently found several large zucchini in her garden. I am sure she will appreciate the sugestions & recipes you have provided. She also was wondering what to do with them, besides, of course sharing them with family and friends. We are all thankful for the bountiful harvest.
Thanks for sharing my blog! Hopefully it helps her too!
Sandra Hendley says
Your zucchini post came just in time! Yesterday our neighbors gave us THREE big ones. So I think I will make the bread and freeze the rest. Thanks!
yay! Glad the post can help you too!
We do stuffed zucchini with ones that large. (Split in half, dig out the seeds and then there's a rice/tomato/onion/mozzarella mixture that gets added to the top of the zucchini before the entire thing is baked.) My zucchini has not done a thing this summer. It makes me incredibly sad. I don't think it is getting enough sun.
It's so funny how plants can take off or bust! Not enough sunshine seem like a good reason to me!
Zeke is one stud of a zucchini! Naming food always gets me in trouble too. Hence why I would be a vegetarian if I lived on a farm.
I know the feeling! Have fun at the wedding this weekend.