I LOVE ZUCCHINI

I am the odd one out in our house.  Hubby & kids tolerate zucchini.  Hubby likes it when I stuff it with cheese, tomato & basil.  Kids like it when it comes in Zucchini bread form.  I just love it.  Grilled, fresh – whatever.  I sometimes put it in the blender & add it to sauces (please don’t tell the kids).  This year I have a few interesting varieties. (Ignore the cucumber in the bottom left of the pic – sneaky photo bomber).

Pictured left is 8 BALL.  This variety & RONDE DU NICE(photo below left)  are both great for stuffing.  Slice the bottom just slightly to give it a flat surface to sit on.  Cut the top off & empty it like a pumpkin.  Stuff with tomato/feta/basil  or grilled eggplant/cream cheese/cumin or spinach/parsley/ground lamb/dill/feta/ricotta or bruschetta mix.  Almost any combination is great in Zucchini.  I often bake my for 15 minutes with a bit of water to soften it up before stuffing.  Just bake it at 350 until the filling is cooked through. Sometimes I sprinkle cheese on top at this point & broil until golden.  I actually eat the zucchini with the filling as well.  Hubby doesn’t.  He uses it as a very funky bowl.  It is one of the few plates where I get to eat the leftovers! It makes a great addition to dinner party tables.

EARLY SUMMER CROOKNECK  (pictured left) is new to me this year.  It is ridiculously pretty. I love the light, creamy yellow colour and the cool shape.  I think that if I leave a couple they would be absolutley massive by the end of the year.  It has a mild taste and is the most tender of my zukes.  I have been using it in stir fries or grilled.  It is prolific & I will definately grow it again. 

GOLDEN DAWN is my favourite zuke for zucchini bread.  It has a great taste & when cooked. The colour is fantastic for bread & it makes very moist loaves.  It is also great for making zucchini relish.  The colour stays bright yellow when pickled.  When making relish I let it grow until it is about the size of my leg & mainly use the outer skin, giving the relish a gorgeous colour.

COSTATA ROMANESCO is the best looking Zucchini in the garden.  I love the ribbed light green stripes against the dark skin with the white flecks.  This variety seems to like the cooler nights, producing more now than in our hot, dry July.  It is great grilled, but truthfully, I just love to see it growing in the garden.  I think that it looks like a sculpture rather than a zuke.  I am very happy with it!

The last zucchini that I am growing this year is Magda.  It is an F1 Hybrid, the only hybrid of the bunch.  I am having a hard time finding the cousa (Lebanese) variety in an open pollinated seed, so F1 it is.  It is called grey, but is more light green.  Lovely in relish, bread or grilled.  It is even fantastic fresh.  It has an almost creamy taste.  Incredibly tender.  My favourite.

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