Zucchini Gump

One of my favorite movies is Forrest Gump, and there’s a memorable scene in which his army friend Bubba recites to him all the different ways his coastal Louisiana mother knows how to cook shrimp. Fried shrimp, boiled shrimp, shrimp scampi, shrimp alfredo, shrimp & grits … it goes on and on.

I felt akin to Bubba recently when we returned from 10 days out of town to discover three giant zucchinis in our little box garden — unfortunately, about the only ones they produced. What do you do with three giant zucchinis? One might just assume they’re too large to cook and throw them away, but that would be wasting a lot of good zucchini, and we don’t like waste at our house.

Spaghetti sauce made with tofu over zucchini noodles: better than it looks.

When we buy a rotisserie chicken, for example, we generally eat one meal straight from the chicken. Every other morsel of meat we can scrounge from the carcass goes into chicken salad. Then all the bones and skin and what’s left of the carcass goes into a pot to be boiled down to make chicken broth that we freeze for future soup-making. The same goes for vegetable scraps suitable for making vegetable broth. Other fruit and vegetable scraps along with eggshells go into a big compost bin: mixed with leaves or grass clippings, it all turns into beautiful rich soil for next year’s garden.

Cheddar-zucchini bites: quick and tasty.

But back to the 15 pounds or so of zucchini. That’s where Bubba comes to mind. With a little help from the internet, we made zucchini muffins, zucchini bread, zucchini hash browns, zucchini-cheddar bites, Parmesan zucchini fries, zucchini fried with yellow squash, spiralized zucchini noodles with spaghetti sauce, sliced zucchini grilled with zatar and olive oil . . .

The batter wouldn’t stick to the fries, so we ended up with a Parmesan crust over baked zucchini sticks.

We thought about coming up with some sort of cookies with the last cup of grated zucchini (zucchidoodles or snickerchini anyone?), but decided to put it in pancake batter instead.

Mixed with yellow squash and ready for the pan …

Genesis says the Lord first gave to humankind “every plant yielding seed and every tree with seed in its fruit” to eat (Gen. 1:29). Just think: if Eve had only known what all you can do with zucchini, that forbidden fruit might not have been so tempting.

Grilling in process …

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