by D.A. Salazar, MG Class of 2009
Okay, yeah, look: I got nothing against zucchini personally; as far as kitchen gardening goes, there’s really nothing too unlikable about it — it won’t plunge me into self-pity like my scrawny tomatoes do, and won’t try to kill me like the blackberries. But good lord! How much cucurbita pepo does one garden need?
They are certainly happy in our local clime, that’s for sure — and more than willing to play a little practical joke on the unsuspecting gardener (we’ll call it The Six Stages of Zucchini Gardening):
First comes that initial blast of pride at seeing nearly every zucchini seed you sowed sprout up. Then the marvel of those glorious, great big blossoms — so many of them! So beautiful! Look how good I am at zucchini! And then the happy astonishment as every bloom seems to produce a viable squash…which soon turns to befuddlement as the harvest continues (is it normal for each plant to put out so much?)…and then frustration when you start running out of room to store them, packing them in your fridge, your cabinets, your hall closets, your fifth wheel…and eventually, panic, as you desperately try foisting them on your friends, neighbors and even strangers on the street — muttering to yourself “can’t make it stop…can’t make it stop…”
Well, guess what, buddy? We don’t want ’em either! (And calling them “courgettes” isn’t fooling anyone.)
Luckily, Puget Sound Fresh, a collective of local growers, has put together a set of recipes that put our would-be summer nemeses to good use. So now, instead of bombarding innocent friends and family with bags and boxes of the stuff, why not fix them something to eat? They’ll thank you for the delicious dish — and brag about knowing a world-class zucchini-grower & chef! Win-win!
Click on a link to open that recipe’s page at Puget Sound Fresh:
Baked Stuffed Zucchini
Green Bean and Zucchini Frittata
Grilled Vegetable Salad with Balsamic Viniagrette
Zucchini Bread with Blueberries
Zucchini Flowers and Ricotta with Penne
Zucchini Puffed Cheese
Zucchini Strands with Basil
Straw bale zucchini garden courtesy Thurston County Master Gardeners
Zucchini Orca at mindovermunch.com