Had it not been for the destructive maws of the squash vine borer, my fridge would be bursting with zucchini at the moment. Sadly, all of my squash plants (zucchini and patty pan) succumbed to the evil ministrations of that pesky bug, so my entire summer yield was just a single, 12-inch zucchini. However for those of you who are currently awash in squash, let’s talk a bit about how to preserve that which you can’t possibly eat right now.
This might shock you, but my favorite way to “put up” squash does not include a jar or a trip through a boiling water canner. Nope, when it comes to the summer squashes, I turn to a sturdy grater, zip top bags and my freezer. I roughly grate the zucchini, press out a bit of its liquid and measure it out into two and four cup portions. Packed into bags and labeled, that squash then becomes part of quick breads, soups, pasta sauces and even zucchini fritters all throughout the year.
I’ve always relied on a basic box grater for this type of task, but recently, the nice folks at Microplane got in touch to say that they were making a new Ultra Coarse Grater and did I want to try it out. I said yes, as I’ve been enamored of Microplane products since I first tried their basic rasp about six years ago. They make the best graters and zesters I’ve used.
Almost immediately upon arrival in my kitchen, this new coarse grater became my favorite tool for squash shredding (it also works nicely on potatoes, harder cheeses, carrots and apples). It’s easy to use (a rubber strip keeps it stable on the cutting board), it’s super-sharp and its flat design makes it so much simpler to clean than the box grater. I am in grater love.
Happily, I have one of these Ultra Coarse Graters to give away. Leave a comment by Friday, August 21st at 11:59 pm to enter. I’d love to hear your zucchini recipes and preservation tips if you’ve got ’em!
I love to make a quick pasta with zucchini – penne or farfalle are great here. Saute the squash (cut into large chunks) with garlic, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes. Serve dressed with olive oil and lemon juice. Grate some Parmesan on top, for which the ultra coarse grater is ideal!
I love Microplane tools! I found and adapted the BEST zucchini bread recipe ever!! Here is the link: http://jilliciousdiscoveries.blogspot.com/2009/08/monday-must-have-baking-illustrated.html
And count me in to win that handy little gadget! 🙂
I used blueberries with my grated zucchini to make bread. So good. Had one for me and one to give away. Then thought I had the original idea of freezing 2 cups grated zucchini and put in freezer bag for later use. Have several ready along with my cup of blueberries in their ziplock for later use. Love Microplan and would be great addition.
poor you with only one zucchini ! I had a similar fate last year, expecting heaps but ending up with only a few. I love the grated zucchini in freezer bags trick & do that – use it for chocolate zucchini cake (YUM !!) and soups, casseroles etc. My new fav. is a zucchini pickle/relish recipe which is delish – have one jar left on my shelf from last season, saving it for a special occasion !
hi, i am new to all this preserving, pickles and sauces. I would love a recipe for Zucchini pickle/relish from Jeni august 21 2009
Vicki, I’m a little confused as to what you’re looking for.
I just found your page and am so happy I did. My friend just dropped by today with tons of green beans, zucchini, and lemon cucumbers. I think I want to make a relish or pickles out of the cukes.
I love your website -especially since I have an overwhelming love of pickles of all kinds! Which is my favorite way to preserve those zucchini – bread and butter pickles using the zukes instead of cukes. I love the sweet and spicy and vinegar flavor all in one. They are delicious!
This couldn’t have come at a better time. I have 14 large zucchini from just this week alone!
Ooohhh…I love me a new gadget.
Yes, getting in just under the deadline! I would love this grater, I currently have a love/hate relationship with my cheese grater and I need that hard cheddar grated nice and fine for tacos. Please pick me!
My favorite zucchini recipe is for zucchini cookies from Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.” My friend puts a lemon glaze on top, and mmm, mmm good.
Zucchini and other summer squashes have, upon occasion, taken over our home, my daughter’s home, and all our neighbors’ homes! What I do is grate all but the most perfect ones, and freeze the grated squash in 2 cup portions in my vacuum sealer, and put the bags in a special box in my fridge. I put a bag of the squash in everything from spaghetti sauce to soups, to cakes and muffins. I sprinkle it over pizza sauce and under the cheese on pizzas and calzones (after thawing and squeezing out the moisture), and add it to my canned chutneys. It can hide in practically anything…
I have heard that changing locations of your zucchini and all vegtables in next garden season will help against bugs, and disease. Love this site.
i have a bread recipe that i just change up the vegtable/fruit and change the spices, for example, i used pumpkin pie spice w/peaches, or vanilla/banana bread
1/4c soft butter
1c brown sugar
1 1/2 c flour
1c zucchini or mashed fresh fruit ex: bananas
1/2tsp lemon zest
350 degree, 50/60 mins
this makes 1 loaf, usually i double it and freeze a loaf for when i run out of cereal or milk for the kids, gives them a nice warm breakfast on those winter day, i have tried also adding oatmeal in for some of the flour(makes awsome pumpkin bread)
I don’t know the recipe, but my best friend’s mum makes the most amazing zucchini bread I’ve ever tasted. Some day I’ll wrest that recipe from her grasp!
time to “spark” up the conversation again lol. I’m getting lots of zucchini and yes…..freezing works great. I like to grate in, package it in 1 cup portions and freeze to enjoy all winter long for all sorts of recipes. I’ve done this for a few years now, never blanched it beforehand like some suggest and it works just great. One idea for shredded zucchini that I enjoy…..make a quesadilla. Simply use grated zucchini, grated cheese of your choice, any spices or other veggies (mushrooms, peppers, etc.) you like and cook in a pan inside a flour tortilla folded over till heated thru and cheese is melted. Then I usually slice into wedges and serve with salsa and or sour cream. It’s quick, easy and a fun way to eat zucchini. Happy gardening everyone!
I chop up my zucchini and add fresh basil leaves and any tomatoe sauce or spagetti sauce. I place them in vaccum seal bags so that I can boil in the bag all winter long just add a bit of parm cheese and my kids love it
Saute chopped onions in olive oil, add big cubes of peeled eggplant, big chunks of zucchini and chunks of fresh tomatoes. Add pressed or chopped garlic, salt and chopped basil and simmer 20 minutes. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar, ladle into freezer containers and freeze. I make big batches of this (ratatouille!) when the garden is going strong, and in the winter when you take a container out and defrost it you get a great taste of summer. The trick is getting all 3 vegetables at the same time — I had to buy zucchini this year because of the squash borers…
I love to use zucchini as a fajita vegetable with peppers and onions. I freeze it in sticks so I can quickly saute it.
It is also great as a relish when canned with vinegar, onions, and green peppers.
I love Zucchini. It is a very versatile squash and can be used in surprising ways.
I just happened upon your site! I’m loving it!