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In the Kitchen: What you can make with summer zucchini harvest
zucchini

School might be back in session, but summer garden vegetables are still plentiful. Whether you have a garden and grow your own vegetables, or you frequent a favorite farmers market, zucchini is still plentiful. 

Sometimes we all fall into a rut of cooking vegetables the same way. When it comes to zucchini, steaming it with some butter, salt and pepper is a common preparation. Let’s get you out of that zucchini rut.

Do you have a spiralizer? This inexpensive kitchen tool easily turns various vegetables into “noodles” and they are a great, low-carb substitution for regular pasta. They cook quickly, so keep that in mind. Also, don’t skip the step of drying the zoodles on paper towels — you don’t want the sauce to be watery.

 

Shrimp scampi with zoodles

1-pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

4 medium zucchini

5 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 jalapeno, thinly sliced (optional)

2 teaspoons capers, drained

1/2 cup dry white wine (or vermouth)

3 tablespoons butter, divided

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons parsley, minced

1 teaspoon tarragon leaves, minced

Pepper to taste

 

In a bowl, toss together the shrimp, salt and baking powder. Set aside for 10 minutes. Spiralize the zucchini according to the instructions. Place the spiralized zucchini on several layers of paper towels to absorb some of the water. 

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat, and add half of the shrimp in a single layer. Cook two minutes, flip and cook another two minutes. Transfer to a bowl, add 2 more tablespoons olive oil and add remaining shrimp and cook the same way.

Remove shrimp to bowl and wipe out skillet. Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and add jalapeno and garlic, cooking for a minute. Add capers and wine or vermouth. Raise heat and cook until liquid is reduced by about half, about two to three minutes. 

Add 2 tablespoons butter and stir until melted. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest, and lemon juice. Pour the sauce over the shrimp, tossing to combine. Wipe out the skillet and add remaining tablespoon butter. 

Add zucchini zoodles and toss to combine. Cook for two minutes and then add the shrimp and sauce, tossing to combine. Stir in parsley, tarragon and pepper to taste.

 •    •    •

I love a vegetable fritter. They are crispy, so you feel like you are eating something decadent, but they are super healthy and a great way to use up a variety of vegetables. The secret to making zucchini fritters is to grate them, salt them, let them drain in a colander, and then wringing them mercilessly in a kitchen towel to remove the water. And it’s a lot of water. 

Don’t skip this step and you will be rewarded with crispy fritters that are sure to please even picky non-vegetable eaters.

 

Zucchini fritters

1 ½ pounds zucchini

1 ½ teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 green onion, chopped

2 tablespoons cilantro, minced

1/2 jalapeno, seeded and finely minced

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

3 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 cup olive oil

 

Grate zucchini and pour into a colander in the sink. Toss zucchini with salt and allow to drain for 30 minutes. 

Squeeze with your hands to get as much water out of zucchini as you can. 

Place zucchini in the middle of a clean kitchen towel and squeeze until all of the liquid is out of the zucchini.

In a bowl, whisk eggs. Add zucchini, green onion, cilantro, onion powder and garlic powder. In a small bowl, stir together flour and baking powder and then add flour mixture into zucchini mixture. 

If mixture seems too wet, add a bit more flour. 

Add a few tablespoons of olive oil and heat skillet over medium-high heat. Drop 2 tablespoons of zucchini batter and cook until golden brown, a few minutes. 

Flip over and cook another few minutes until golden. 

Remove to a baking sheet and sprinkle with a little salt. Keep in a warm oven and continue cooking fritters.

 •    •    •

Vegetable frittata

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup thin-sliced mushrooms

1 cup chopped red bell pepper

1 cup zucchini, sliced into thin rounds

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

8 eggs

1/3 cup milk

1 cup Gruyere, grated

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 10-inch ovenproof skillet, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook three or four minutes. Add mushrooms and cook another four minutes. Add bell pepper and cook another minute. 

Add zucchini rounds and cook two to three minutes until zucchini softens. Add salt and pepper. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs lightly. Add milk, and ½ cup of the cheese. 

Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and cook the frittata without stirring until it begins to set around the edges, about five minutes. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes until just puffed. 

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining ½-cup cheese. Bake another two minutes. Broil for a minute until cheese is lightly golden. Remove and cut into wedges.