Did I mention we have nine zucchini plants? And that they are all thriving? We’re trying to stay on top of them and pick them when they’re small, but every once in a while we miss one and find it when it’s the size of a small dog (I think they go from small to small dog in about two days).
We usually add one to a green smoothie each day, and we’ve been adding them to salads and stir fries and soups. Zucchini can be used for all sorts of dishes, and it adds a great moist texture. It can even be made into “noodles” and used like pasta with whatever sauce you like. There are fancy gadgets designed just for the purpose of making noodles from zucchini. They’re called spiralizers, and they do make a neat looking plate of zucchini pasta. But they are pretty much uni-purpose implements, and I try to avoid products like that in my kitchen. I only have so much space, and I want it to be taken up with appliances and tools that I use everyday, for multiple things.
I had been using a knife to cut thin strips of zucchini, but last week I thought about using my food processor. I use my food processor several times a week, for lots of different tasks. It definitely deserves its spot in the kitchen. And it has a shredder blade that works amazingly well at making short noodles out of a zucchini.
So for the last few days, our lunch has been a huge salad made on a base of shredded zucchini. Looks a little odd if you haven’t tried it, but it makes an awesome salad. Just shred a zucchini or two, and then top with whatever you like on salads. We’ve been harvesting cherry tomatoes every day, so those get added, plus some olives, hemp-esan, fresh green beans and sugar snap peas (both from our garden). Add some seeds and whatever homemade dressing you like, and you end up with a great lunch that only takes a few minutes to put together.
Zucchini has a reputation for being quite prolific, and for ending up on neighbors’ doorsteps because gardeners just can’t use as much of it as they grow. So if you’ve got zucchini coming out your ears, hopefully my shredded zucchini salad idea will help you use up today’s harvest.
Eating from our garden has made a huge dent in our grocery bill. Last week I bought only fruit at the grocery store, and not a single veggie (we have fruit trees, but it will be next year at the earliest before they produce anything). My shopping cart used to be half filled with fruit and half with veggies, but these days I go out in the backyard a couple times a day with a huge bowl and fill it with greens, beets, carrots, peas, beans, onions, basil, tomatoes… definitely worth all the hours we spent digging garden beds in the spring!