Friday, July 30, 2010

Zillions of zucchinis (with recipes)

First off I want to apologize to any readers I may have for my long absence. Things were topsy-turvy for a while, but I'm finally writing a blog post again.

Now that it's midsummer I'm starting to harvest vegetables, including up till now onions, garlic, and herbs, but above all right now: zucchinis. I tried to solve the space problem by raising my own from seeds which promised "climbing zucchinis", i.e. that could be fastened to poles like tomatoes. Well, they did produce a longish main stem which I tied to poles, but also produced huge lateral branches that take up just as much room as conventional zucchinis. The two plants I have seem to bear twice as much fruit as normal zucchinis! Here are some impressions of how they're now dominating my hedged-in potager (click to enlarge):

Since I harvest up to four zucchinis a day, I've been experimenting with recipes and have come up with a few the family likes. Here are two of our favorites:

Zucchini-vegetable cream soup

Ingredients for four generous servings: 3 medium zucchinis, 1 potato, 1 medium onion, 1 clove garlic, 3 tomatoes, 2 small or 1 large carrot, 50 ml whipping cream, vegetable broth (granules or cubes), hand blender for pureeing.

Peel and chop the potato, carrots, onion, and garlic; chop the zucchini and tomatoes, about like this.

Sauté the onions and garlic for a few minutes in a small amount of butter, then add and briefly sauté the zucchini, carrots and potato.

Add the tomatoes and broth to almost cover the vegetables. I use vegetable stock, but you could also use beef or chicken bouillon. Simmer until tender and puree coarsely. Stir in the whipping cream and season to taste. IMPORTANT: This soup needs lots of freshly ground black pepper.

Serve with freshly chopped herbs, a drizzle of cream and a dusting of freshly ground black pepper. I use a mixture of chopped chives, garlic chives, oregano and rocket.

Zucchinis gratinée

Ingredients for four servings: 4 zucchinis cut in half lengthwise, 2 tomatoes, about 100 g of gouda or parmesan, some day-old baguette, olive oil, salt, freshly ground black pepper. Butter to grease the baking dish.

Grease a baking dish, place the zucchinis in it and drizzle with olive oil. Salt and pepper generously.

Grate the cheese and baguette and mix together (the baguette has to be very dry). Sprinkle mixture over the zucchinis. Slice the tomatoes and distribute on top. Generously salt and pepper the tomatoes and drizzle with olive oil.

Bake for about half an hour in medium oven or until the zucchinis are tender and the topping is slightly browned.
Serve with pasta or rice and tomato sauce.

Guten appetit!


  1. Welcome back! It is amazing how much even one zucchini can produce. Your zucchinis gratinée looks great. Our tomatoes aren't ready yet...but soon, hopefully, and I'm sure we'll have zucchini for many months to come!

  2. Glad to see you back, especially with 2 vegetarian recipes for me ;-)

  3. I am so happy you are back! Your zucchinis are doing better than mine. Several perennial flowers and my zucchinis have powdery mildew probably because we are having a very hot and humid summer. How is your weather this year? Thanks for the recipes. Pam

  4. Can I come for lunch or dinner??
    Sieht so gut aus, bestimmt recht lecker:)
    LG Gisela.

  5. Barbara, I am so happy to see you posting again, I was a bit worried, hope everything is well. Great recipes, I will have to come back to them when all the neighbours start giving zucchini away, lol. The box hedge is coming along well.

  6. Never can have too many courgette recipes!

  7. Barbara, your kitchen garden looks great! Congratulations on your zuccini harvest! I don't have much space for them, and planted only one plant. Tomatoes took a lot of space, but it looks like I won't have much luck with tomatoes this year. Thank you for your comment on my blog.

  8. Well Barbara, You start out again with roaring colors. Great post! All looks vibrant and yummy. Great documentation. ;>)

  9. Barbara, You have been gone a long time. Glad to hear things are settling out and garden is growing well. Your zucchini sure do dominate the garden. A nice domination indeed. As one who loves zucchini and has none I'm most envious.

    You asked about hydrangeas, the soil has not been an issue for me here. I think our soil is naturally acidic but I add an acid loving fertilizer as well.

    You take care and keep up on those zukes! I might have to buy some to try that creamed soup. Sounds great for lunch.

  10. This soup looks delicious with easy to follow directions. Can't wait to try it. Zucchinis appear to be very popular in Germany but I've never made zucchini soup before.

  11. I love the photos - it makes the recipes much more interesting. I can't believe how big those zucchini plants are getting.

  12. Good to have you back. Hope all is well. That is one lovely garden. I'm glad someone somewhere in the world can grow summer squash. My squash plants have given me bupkus this year. (I have no idea what language that is, but it means zero, zilch, nada, nothing.)