Veggie Chef: Zucchini Explosion

Jul 3, 2014

If you're wondering what to do with all of the zucchini pouring out of your garden now, I've got you covered with a few options.

One delicious way to take advantage of a bounty of zucchini is to grill it. I really enjoy grilled vegetables and fruits of all types and have been known to throw asparagus, sweet potato, beets, pineapple and peaches on the grill. While the grilled zucchini is great as is, you can also incorporate it into a hearty, flavorful dip.

Zucchini Basil Bliss Dip
(Makes approximately 3 cups)

1 lb zucchini (six small)
3 TB olive oil
1/2 c fresh basil, chopped
1 15 oz can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 c fresh lemon juice
pinch of ground nutmeg
black pepper
sea salt

Slice the zucchini lengthwise and chop off the ends. Coat in 1 TB of olive oil and sprinkle lightly with sea salt and black pepper. Grill over medium heat for 5-7 minutes on each side. The zucchini is done when soft and showing nice grill marks but not falling apart. Once the zucchini has cooled, cut into chunks and blend with remaining olive oil, basil, beans, garlic, lemon juice and nutmeg in a food processor or blender. You may need to do this in batches if you don't have a large food processor. This was delicious after an hour in the refrigerator and even better the next day.

I served this on crackers, but it would be wonderful spread on fresh toasted, rustic bread or in a pita.

As a bonus, I am also sharing another recipe that will help you go through another pound and a half of zucchini.

Zucchini Gazpacho
(makes approximately 6 cups)

1 1/2 lb zucchini
1 medium cucumber
1 medium avocado, peeled
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/3 c cilantro, chopped
1/3 c fresh lime juice
1 TB ground cumin
2 TB olive oil
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper (depending on spice tolerance)
water, if needed

Cut the zucchini, cucumber and avocado into large chunks. Set aside a handful of the zucchini. Blend all ingredients (except handful of zucchini) together in a food processor or blender. Add water if needed if you would like a thinner consistency. When everything is blended fully, add the handful of zucchini and pulse a few times giving you a few chunks for texture. Chill for at least an hour and serve cold - or at least refreshingly cool.

If you still have a plethora of zucchini after all of this, consider pickling it using the same refrigerator pickling method I shared during last month's segment, which is also on Please feel free to email any questions or comments to me at