Is zucchini edible?

Photo: Stephanie Weiss, who wrote: Last night’s dinner was zucchini pizzas on the grill. I was thrilled that this recipe ate up a whole monster zucchini! (And my kids ate it up.) Only five more to go!

Photo: Stephanie Weiss, who wrote: Last night’s dinner was zucchini pizzas on the grill. I was thrilled that this recipe ate up a whole monster zucchini! (And my kids ate it up.) Only five more to go!

So why didn’t the zucchini cross the road?

He didn’t want to become squash!

Yes, indeed it’s time for squash jokes. Calabacin, cousa, courgette, cymling, cuccuzza, curcubita pepo, scallop, vegetable marrow, butterbar, crookneck, straightneck, pattypan, zucchini — whatever you call it, it’s summer squash and it’s here. We’re at that point in the summer when the squash is coming on strong and every gardener and cook feels challenged to do something useful and delicious with it all. This week we asked listeners share their ideas about summer squash and you came up with some good ones. Read on.

 Heather Casey:  1) Zucchini and pasta. Sauté zuch and squash with lots or garlic and onions, with olive oil and a pinch of crushed red pepper. Mix in favorite cooked pasta. Serve with parmesan cheese. Also, 2) squash bake with garlic, onions, and tomato sauce topped with croutons and cheese. Bake til bubbly. Or, 3) hollow out squash and fill with tomato/onion/garlic mixture, top with cheese and bake. Got to love zucchini bread with chocolate chips, too!

 Eileen Kaleel:  Sauté slices of both with some olive oil, a little butter, add some pine nuts or sunflower seeds, just a touch of sesame oil and toss with angel hair pasta (gluten free). Just perfection! (My sister’s recipe.)

 Sarah Fink:  Oven-baked zucchini fries, spicy zucchini pickles, add a zucchini to the food processor while making pesto to make it a bit creamy for pasta sauce, shred summer squash and use in place of potato for latkes/pancakes, squash and crab fritters, the list goes on and on!

 Matthew Arnold: Drive around looking for friends who don’t lock their cars, deposit zucchini, and depart post haste.

Alison Millsaps:  We nip them in the bud. Stuff the male flowers with herbed goat cheese and mozzarella. Twist the ends shut and dip the whole thing in milk. Then dredge them through flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Wait a few minutes and dip/dredge again. Finally deep fry them in a cast iron skillet. So good.

Phyllis Levine:  Brown Chocolate zucchini bread. Heavenly.

Nils I. Peterson:  I return them to the compost pile so I can grow more then I need again next year. Seriously, though, grilled and in stir fry.

Matilda Larson:  Loaves and loaves of chocolate chip orange zucchini bread for putting in the freezer.

Holly Chambers:  Spaghetti/noodle zucchini/yellow squash. Instead of slicing in circles, which is what I usually do, grate on a grater turned on its side, or use a food processor if you have the julienne attachment, or a spiralizer. Salt lightly and put in a colander to drain off some of the liquid; press lightly a few times. Put a bunch of olive oil in a pan, sauté too much crushed fresh garlic (if that is possible) and a few green onions, plus a few chopped walnuts. Add the zucchini and sauté.

Richard Rodzinski: Here’s one I have developed over the years. It is especially designed to make use of those overly large zucchini which hide under a leaf and which one misses for a few days past when they should have been harvested.

Riki’s Pie


6 cups of coarsely grated zucchini

half a cup breadcrumbs

one egg

three heaping tablespoons real bacon crumbles

1 cup grated cheeses (Fontina, Jarlsberg, Edam, Gouda, etc.)

2 tablespoons Italian Parmesan.


Grate zucchini in a food processor and remove as much water as possible by lightly salting the grated zucchini and leave standing for a while in a colander. One can also put it between kitchen towels and squeeze or use a roller. The more water removed the better.

Put the zucchini in a bowl and mix with the breadcrumbs, and egg, and the bacon crumbles. One can then let this stand in a colander for an additional hour or so to let it drain further.

Place half the mixture in a greased baking bowl and sprinkle with at least a half a cup of grated soft cheeses in any combination.

Spread the remainder of the mixture on top of cheeses and cover this latter with the remainder of the grated cheeses.

Sprinkle the top with freshly grated Parmesan.

Bake the “pie” at 350° for one hour or until the cheeses brown slightly. If it looks like the zucchini might still be a little too mushy one can leave the pie in for another half hour until more liquid has evaporated.

Enjoy the pie as a meal in itself with a side of a fresh garden salad or serve it as a side dish with poultry, beef, or fish.

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6 Comments on “Is zucchini edible?”

  1. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Little known fact: people often pick zucchini too soon. When the zucchini reaches the size of a raccoon don’t make the mistake of picking it, instead give it two more days on the vine. Then split it in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and allow to dry for one week. discard all but two seeds. Attach the seeds to the end of sturdy 3 foot sticks, viola! You are the proud owner of a pair of fine canoes with paddles!

  2. Dale Hobson says:

    I was talking with a 10-year-old boy last week who was asking “What’s this?” about the zucchini parmesan that his mother was trying to get him to eat. She said “Try it—it’s covered in sauce and cheese.” He said “I don’t like zucchini.” I told him “Nobody likes zucchini; that’s why it’s covered in cheese and sauce.” His mother said, “Just eat some and if you don’t like it, I’ll eat the rest.” He ate the sauce and cheese off the top and threw the zucchini onto his mother’s plate.

  3. Bobbie Karp says:

    My mother browned slices of zucchini in browned butter. Then she added cream, salt and NUTMEG. Delicious.

  4. David Duff says:

    Feed your Zukes to your pigs, along with yellow cucumbers. The trick with big zucchini for fastidious pigs(possible oxymoron) is to cut them into bite sized pieces with a hatchet. (Zuke a, not pigs) As regards most of the above recipes I would suggest they are nothing more than artful tasty disguises looking for a “legitimate” excuse to be used. The excuse offered is that we have used another otherwise compost pile ready zuke. In most of the recipes offered one could exchange a cormorant for the zuke and have a rather tasty meal. Discard the cormorant before serving the other ingredients.

  5. Daniel Kent says:

    Golly, such abuse for such a fabulous vegetable. So many other garden crops require a great deal of fussy care. The reliable squash plant asks little of us and yields so abundantly. We consider it a staple in our house and bemoan its passing (when powdery mildew shuts all unsprayed cucurbits down) almost like we mourn the passing of tomatoes.

  6. Scott Miller says:

    Take one on the larger side, cut lengthwise and hollow it out. Coat the open side with olive oil and toss in an oven on ‘preheat’. This thoroughly cooks it while browning the open side. Then you can fill it with whateverything/anything, which the last time I did that, consisted of sauteed onions, garlic sausage and pepper and topped with polenta before a final roasting. Fut for the filling, the garden’s the limit.

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