Now, What do I do with all these Zucchini?
Have you ever purchased or been given a large bundle of fresh zucchini only to wonder, “Now what do I do?” I sure have! Hmmm, let’s see, there are stews, soups, casseroles, frittata, microwaved, garden variety sauteed, fried, baked and freezing. More about freezing in a minute. These are all tried and true recipes, but I wanted something different. That’s when shredded carrots and riced cauliflower came to mind. I thought, why not riced or shredded zucchini recipe?
Yep, that’s right! This delicious Riced or Shredded Zucchini recipe steps slightly away from the tried and true recipes we all love to eat. Zucchini is easy to grown and often grows in abundance. I fondly remember the veggie gardens my dad and grandfathers grew. What green thumbs they had. Only a few zucchini plants were required, as they grow in abundance and rapidly.
From my childhood, I’ve known the best tasting zucchini are relatively small, and ideal once they are 2″ +/- in diameter. Larger zucchini can become soft and have excessive amounts of seeds. Making daily harvesting a necessity. Did you know that technically zucchini is a fruit? Yep, that is due to the large beautiful flowers they produce, which are also edible. I can remember the flowering time was also, a time for bee visitors. Lots of bees. I love bees and enjoy hearing their buzzing as they happily go about their work, and especially love photographing them. Some of my favorite macro (macro is just up close photography) photos are of bees!
Box Grater or Food Processor
Prepping is relatively easy, especially if you have a food processor. After rinsing, drying, and removing both ends you’re ready to rice or shred your zucchini. If you want a light arm work out you can opt for the box grater, which also takes slightly larger than a food processor. But, it gets the job done.
My tool of choice a food processor. Mine has two different grating discs; one is smaller, while the other is larger. I prefer the larger size, but the choice is yours.
Before you begin grating take a moment to line a colander with a clean dish towel. Once the zucchini is grated they will begin releasing their juices and we have no need for them in this recipe. The towel will draw the juices away as they are released. You may also need to wring the juices away, and twisting the towel works really well. Otherwise, you can use your hands to squeeze away the juices. I start this process about 20 minutes before I plan to prepare my zucchini, with a final squeeze just before adding them to my sautee pan.
Prep your remaining ingredients
Prepping the remaining ingredients is relatively easy, just a bit of chopping and measuring. As you chop, be sure to heat your butter and EVOO in a large saucepan. The first ingredient is the yellow onion. You’ll add those into the saucepan first and will saute them until they are softened and translucent.
Like you, I’m affected by the onions gases during chopping. My eyes will become irritated and tears soon follow. I’ve put together a culinary tip post that I believe will help, and you can find that here. If you have a special tip about chopping onions, please share it in the comments below or in the Culinary Tips post.
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Garlic and Oregano
You can chop or mince the garlic, but don’t add them until your onions are fully sauteed, and then they’ll only need to saute for a few minutes. A personal preference on my part, as I’ve found they will become bitter when overcooked. Sprinkle in the oregano just before adding the zucchini into the saucepan.
It’s very important to give the zucchini a final squeeze before sauteing. As I mentioned early, we want to remove excess juices from the zucchini, and this is your final opportunity. Twist the dishtowel and then add the zucchini to the saucepan. Season with salt, pepper, and mix well.
What I love about this recipe is that the shredded zucchini cooks up in a fraction of the time. Gotta love that! Saute the zucchini just until tender, only about 5-7 minutes.
Video - 60 sec
Let's Finish up
All that’s left is to add the grated parmesan romano cheese, toss gently, transfer to a serving bowl, and ultimately enjoy our Riced or Shredded Zucchini recipe!
Photography to Inspire You
I mentioned freezing zucchini earlier in this post. You can certainly freeze them for about 3 months.
The first method requires blanching. You’ll need to rinse and clean the zucchini, then slice it into approximately 1/2″ to 3/4″ rounds. Drop the prepared zucchini into boiling water for about 3 minutes. Remove and immediately give it an ice bath. I like to lay them onto a clean dishtowel or layered paper towels to dry thoroughly.
Next, I layer my baking sheet(s) with parchment paper and arrange the zucchini in a single layer, and with space between each slice. Then into the freezer they go, and for about 10-15 or until frozen.
Remove the zucchini, transfer to ziplock freezer baggies, use a straw draw out the air, seal tightly, and return to the freezer.
The next method is much easier. All you have to do is shred the zucchini, allow it to release its juices, then squeeze away it’s juices, separate into serving size portions, place into ziplock freezer bags, remove air, and store in the freezer. As I said, easier..!
Riced or Shredded Zucchini
- Food Processor with grater disk or box grater
- 3-4 leaves Fresh basil, chopped for garnish
- 1/2 Yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp Oregano
- 1/3-1/2 cup Grated Parmesan, riggiono cheese
- 5-6 Zucchini, cleaned, ends removed, and grated use the large grater opening
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 TBL Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 TBL Butter
- 1 tsp Salt
- Pepper to taste
- Wash and remove both ends of the zucchini.
- Using a food processor or box grater, shred the zucchini. Note: use the large grater openings.
- Line a colander with a clean dish towel and place shredded zucchini into the lined colander and set aside.
- Once shredded the zucchini will begin releasing its juices. As it does its juices will be absorbed into the towel. You may also need to squeeze additional juices from the shredded zucchini. To do this tightly twist the clean dish towel around the zucchini to wring more juices from the zucchini.
- Heat EVOO and butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Once heated add the finely chopped onions and saute until they become softened and translucent, about 3-5 minutes
- Add garlic and oregano and allow to saute a minute or two more.
- Squeeze juices from zucchini one more time and add them into the pan.
- Season with 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper to taste, mixing the ingredients together gently, but thoroughly.
- Saute the zucchini for another 5 minutes or until tender, but not mushy.
- Remove from heat and add the grated cheese and gently combine.
- Spoon into a serving bowl, top with chopped basil, and enjoy.
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