August 08, 2013

Too much of a good thing? Is there such a thing? If that thing is zucchini, chances are you will zealously agree. “What to do? Why did I plant so much?” That’s what I’m asking myself in the Cooking Light Garden this summer. We planted trials of five heirloom and hybrid varieties. Ahem, yes...five. At least three plants of each--for good measure and Girl Scout preparedness against pests, disease, coyotes, and natural disasters. We want gorgeous, plump models for our photography shoots, so I always overplant. But once these green machines get started, keeping up with them makes me feel like Lucy and Ethel in the chocolate factory.

All the more reason to celebrate National Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day. August 8th is the day you can sigh with relief. You are free to stash your stash...and run! And, if you’re the lucky recipient of a 20-pound sack of garden delights, here are 75 Summer Squash and Zucchini Recipes from our Test Kitchens. Not enough? Try these unusual ideas. For fast and fresh -- and to use up another ingredient taking over your garden right now -- try this Mint Gremolata Zucchini recipe.

Too much to handle? If you want to save some of the abundant harvest for later, I have a sanity-saving tip: remove seedy pulp from larger zucchini, grate (skin on) quickly with your food processor, squeeze by hand or drain for half an hour in a colander over the sink, and form freezable “pucks” of the shredded squash using a 1-cup measuring cup. Freeze these on a tray covered in parchment paper, then place in freezer bags. When you want to make Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread this fall, you’ll have your sneaky neighbor to thank for the homegrown goods.

If you still need inspiration, check out our archive of over 400 zucchini recipes here!

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