Archaeologists have traced the humble zucchini to Mexico in 7000 B.C., when it was an integral part of a diet of maize and beans. So the next time you feel overwhelmed by the bounty of the verdant squash in your garden, consider its incredible origin story.
As gardeners know, zucchini grows pretty much like a weed this time of year. Some folks produce such comical amounts that we even have a “National Sneak Some Zucchini on to Your Neighbor’s Porch Day.” If you can’t give it all away, or don’t want to do so, here are seven savory squash recipes to get you excited about it all over again.
Look how lovely zucchini can be! You’re going to want your best mandoline or soft vegetable peeler and only 15 minutes of your time to make this beauty. It’s as simple as ribboning zucchini, tossing it with lemon, olive oil, mint, salt and pepper, and serving. Garnish with Parmesan crumbles and edible flowers, if you’ve got ’em. (Who said zucchini is boring, again?)
This spin on lasagna roll-ups eliminates the noodles completely. You won’t miss them: These beauties feature three types of cheese, bright-sweet roasted cherry tomatoes, basil, parsley, chives and lemon zest. They’re flavorful as can be, and will delight any vegetarians or pasta-lovers in your home.
Jeez, what can’t you make using our epic basic pie dough? This stunning tart laced with plenty of summer squash and Gruyère showcases both ingredients at their best. We love that the labor is limited to shaving the zucchini and rolling out the dough; the rest is all about adding simple, tasty top notes like thyme, lemon zest, olive oil and red pepper flakes. Plus, the whole thing goes into an oven set to a much lower heat than a pizza-baking oven, which is a welcome respite in summertime.
Some say that Thanksgiving is all about the side dishes. We’d parry that lasagna is about everything but the noodles. People get excited about the meat, cheese, and that red sauce. This zucchini lasagna is precisely what you’re craving, leaving out the noodles you probably don’t want. The heroic trio of Parm, mozz and ricotta anchors the classic dish. People might not even notice that zucchini swaps in for pasta!
Yowza, the look of these zoodles with shrimp! The thing about spiralizers is that they truly are amazing. In this dish, “zoodles” get a bath in the pesto of your dreams: basil, parsley, mint, Parmesan, almonds and olive oil. (What the what? It’s so good.) Shrimp goes into a grill pan for just a minute and tops the dish, adding savory protein and good looks, to boot.
Have you fallen under the spell of an air fryer yet? Let today be the day, because these zucchini fries are out of this world. And the amount of olive oil involved? A stunning two tablespoons. (Would we lie to you?!) Dredging the squash pieces in panko bread crumbs prior to their spa day in the air fryer will trick you into thinking there’s way more fat involved.
Fire up your Breville pizza oven for this so-summery-it-hurts zucchini pizza with basil. There’s summer squash there, too, for good measure, and plenty of mozzarella and ricotta salata. If you’re unfamiliar with the charms of the lesser-known ricotta, this one is salty and lovely, gets shaved on top, and makes the whole thing pretty as a picture. That’s how summer should be.