I absolutely love zucchini but sadly I am the only one in my family who does. My children try to avoid it at all possible costs and my husband only will eat it in select recipes. But it's so easy to grow! And prolific too! So I am determined to convert my family to be zucchini lovers.
The first recipe, a salad, tastes just like summer. It's refreshingly crunchy and the bright lemon flavor balances the plain zucchini and the rich hazelnuts. You could use another type of nut but hazelnuts grow locally here and they are soooo yummy.
Hazelnuts are a great energy source high in fiber, protein, folate, calcium, manganese, B vitamins and many more so they really up the nutrient count in this salad. They are also known as Filberts. Zucchini is super low calorie (21 calories per cup!) but full of water and fiber to make you feel full and is also full of vitamins like C, B6, Manganese and K, just make sure you leave the skin on because that's where most of the vitamins are. Like the hazelnuts, zucchini also have an alias or two-courgette and summer squash. So in addition to being just plain delicious, this salad is really good for you!
The second recipe is a quick pizza topped with fresh shaved zucchini. I was craving a barely cooked texture and decided on a simple pizza which cooked the zucchini a little but didn't turn it to mush. I also love zucchini blossoms so I picked a few, gently tore them into 5 or 6 pieces each and topped my just cooked pizza with them. They add a light fresh flavor and texture and don't you think they are just gorgeous?!
The pizza dough is a fast recipe for when you haven't thought ahead and made your dough in the morning or even the day before (longer fermented dough has the best flavor) but it's still a yeast risen dough and a great basic to have in the toolbox for weeknights.
For another great way to cook with zucchini, try this kid-friendly recipe I made recently, Cheddar Zucchini Fritters . These are easy, fast and perfect to dip into a healthy yogurt dip or marinara sauce.
Enjoy the rest of zucchini season and let me know if you try any of these recipes or if you have a recipes that will convert my non-zucchini loving family!
Amazon has a selection of veggie spiralizers but I like this one by OXO because it is sturdy and has a suction cup base to hold it steady.
If you need a new pizza pan, this one from Amazon Basics is non-stick and perforated to help cook the crust right through without burning the top. I use a perforated pan and put it right on top of my preheated pizza stone so it's easy to get in and out of the oven.
Courgette Feta Salad With Hazelnuts
- 1 Large Courgette, cut into thin ribbons with a vegetable peeler or mandoline or 2 small courgette (zucchini)
- ½ c Hazelnuts
- ½ c Feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 teaspoon Lemon zest
- 2 tablespoon Lemon juice
- 4 tablespoon Olive oil
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Sugar
- ¼ teaspoon Fresh Pepper
- Optional: Basil, Mint or Parsley For Garnish
Make The Dressing
- Mix together lemon juice, zest, oil, S+P and sugar and set aside.
- In a wide bowl add courgette, nuts and feta.
- When ready to serve, gently toss the dressing with the courgette, feta cheese and nuts in a large bowl.
- Garnish with basil, mint or parsley if using.
- Serve right away.
Top this pizza dough recipe with shaved zucchini, zucchini blossoms, shredded cheddar and fresh basil.
Zucchini Flower Pizza
- 2 teaspoon Traditional Yeast
- ½ teaspoon Sugar
- 1 ½ c Warm Water
- 3 c Flour
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 2 tablespoon Olive Oil To coat bowl and drizzle over
- 1 c Zucchini, sliced in thin rounds one small or medium zucchini
- ¼ c Tomato Sauce, seasoned with salt if needed or pizza sauce
- 1 clove Garlic, minced
- Salt, dried basil or oregano to taste optional
- 2 c Shredded cheddar cheese or mozzarella
- 6 Zucchini Blossoms, torn into large pieces
- Fresh basil leaves optional
- Turn your oven on the warm setting and let preheat. Into a large bowl or stand mixer bowl, add yeast and sugar. Then add warm water. (This should be quite warm but not hot so you don't kill the yeast) Stir and let sit for 10 minutes to get foamy (activate) while you assemble other ingredients.
- In large measuring cup add flour and salt and stir to combine well and then pour into wet ingredients.
- Stir together or turn mixer with paddle attachment on low until it comes into a ball. Continue to knead in mixer or by hand for about 5 minutes. Lightly oil bowl with the olive oil and drizzle remaining oil on top. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap (leave air escape hole) or a clean tea towel. Turn off your oven and pop the dough inside to rise. Once it's doubled in size (approx 1 hour) take it out, preheat oven to 500' F and form it into 1 large or 2 small pizzas on a cookie sheet or pizza pan lined with parchement or dusted with flour or cornmeal.
Topping and Baking
- Once your pizza dough is pressed out into the size you like, stir minced garlic into tomato sauce and season to taste with salt, pepper or other dried herbs like oregano or basil.Spread sauce evenly over pizza, leaving ½" around the edges bare. Next evenly place slices of zucchini and half the torn flowers, then top evenly with cheese.Put your pizza in the oven and bake 12-15 min. Once it's bubbly and lightly browned, it's done. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with remaining zucchini flowers letting them cook slighty in the residual heat. Then sprinkle basil leaves over if using.Take it out and slide it onto cooling racks for 5-10 minutes before slicing.