Oh, zucchini. For urban gardeners, it's both a blessing and a curse - a blessing because it will thrive even if you normally have the blackest of black thumbs, and a curse because... well... it REALLY thrives.
This means that by late July, you're probably so sick of the darn things that you're resorting to substituting them for doorstops, using them to play fetch with the dog, and possibly even sneaking over to the neighbour's house in the middle of the night to anonymously drop off bags of zucchini on their doorstep. And still, no matter how many you unload, the zucchini keeps on going.
This year, spare the neighbours, and try these five creative ways to work your way through all that bounty instead:
1. Vegetable and Cheddar Tarts - Karen's Kitchen Stories
These savoury tarts combine a summery blend of grated zucchini with cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers and onions with a melty cheddar topping, all in a rich buttery pastry crust. They're portable enough to brown-bag to the office, yet elegant enough to serve to guests.
2. Turkey and Zucchini Burgers - The View From Great Island
Grated zucchini keeps these crispy pan-fried turkey burgers nice and moist. Skip the buns... these burgers are so flavourful that all they need is a drizzle of refreshing lightly-spiced yogurt sauce flavoured with green onion and cumin.
3. Baked Ratatouille Fries with Spicy Tomato Dipping Sauce - Chocolate Moosey
This recipe takes all of the delicious flavours of classic ratatouille, and transforms them into crispy oven-baked zucchini and eggplant fries with a spicy marinara-style dipping sauce. It might even convince zucchini haters to give it a second chance.
4. Zucchini Noodles with Marinara and Sausage - Brooklyn Supper
This fresher, summerier take on the standard pasta with sausage and tomato sauce uses paper-thin slices of sauteed zucchini in lieu of the noodles. All of the goodness of a bowl of hearty pasta, minus the post-carbo-binge sleepiness.
5. Zucchini Pecan Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting - Nutmeg Nanny
No zucchini recipe round-up is complete without a zucchini-based dessert. This one dresses up the old-fashioned zucchini cake base with a killer cinnamon and cream cheese frosting that'll make you forget there are vegetables in your dessert.