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There’s a running joke in my family about zucchini plants. When I was growing up, my mom always insisted my dad plant two zucchini plants “in case one dies.” Needless to say, every summer both plants survived and inevitably we would end up with some XXL zucchini at more than one occasion during the season.

Zucchinis in my garden

*Only* five zucchini plants in my garden this year. Trying to pick them all while still small!

I like to plant both green and yellow zucchini. I buy baby plants at the nursery. There’s always more than one plant per container. You can see where this is going…

This year I have a bed with 5 (yes FIVE) zucchini plants in it. With the recent hot weather, they’re growing like crazy. I tried hand pollination and witnessed the effects—zucchini matures properly growing big and strong instead of staying small and eventually rotting—but they don’t even need that help!

Yellow zucchini

Hmm, I see one zucchini for every day of the week (and more)!

I’m picking at least one zucchini per day. I’m giving them away. I’m gathering and trying recipes: zucchini relish (from mom and mother-in-law), zucchini fritters (fast, easy and tasty, use less oil and fry in a non-stick pan), zucchini tart, zucchini frittata (eggs, sliced zucchini, basil, goat cheese, salt & pepper), stuffed zucchini flowers (eat the flowers and I may get a zucchini picking break for a couple of days), pasta tossed with zucchini (spaghetti, sauteed sliced zucchini, basil, mint, bit of garlic, toasted pine nuts), … I’m eating lots of zucchini!

Here are two recent creations:

Recipe: Zucchini and Chickpea Salad

I just threw this salad together, so measurements are approximate (or non-existent). Adjust quantities to your own taste.

*Make this recipe at least one day ahead to allow flavours to meld.*

1 tsp cumin seed, toasted
½ tsp coriander seed, toasted
approx. 20 large basil leaves + more to finish
approx. 20 large mint leaves + more to finish
flat-leaf parsley
lemon juice, from half a lemon
olive oil
salt & pepper
2 green onion, cut into 1 cm pieces
3-4 smallish zucchinis
chickpeas

If using dried chickpeas, soak and cook until tender. Drain and set aside.

Cut zucchini into thin slices. Saute until just soft. Add green onion and remove from heat (green onion will cook lightly in the remaining heat, but not lose its colour).

Using a mortar and pestle, grind cumin and coriander seeds. Add all herbs, a bit of salt and some olive oil, and work the herbs into a paste. Once the herbs start to break down, add the lemon juice and more olive oil and keep working it to create a paste. Adjust seasoning.

Toss chickpeas, zucchini and herb paste. Let rest at least 12 hours, preferably one day, before serving.

Recipe: Apricot Almond (Zucchini) Muffins

Apricot almond (zucchini) muffins

Wet:
1 egg
¾ cup milk
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ cup sugar
1 tsp almond extract
1 cup zucchini, finely grated (2-3 smaller zucchinis)
6-8 apricots, diced

Dry:
1 ¾ cups flour
½ cup ground almonds
3 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
sliced almonds (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line/grease 10-12 muffin cups.

Combine all wet ingredients. Combine flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt. Pour wet ingredients into dry, and blend until flour mixture is just moistened.

Fill muffin cups. Sprinkle with sliced almonds if desired. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and tester comes out clean.

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