The official start of the summer garden is when the first zucchini appear.
Once the first one ripens the race begins to stay ahead of this prolific vegetable. The key, I learned, is to pick them when they are small. If you never let any get longer than 6 or 7 inches you’ll have a controllable crop of delicious squashes all summer long. At that size they have more flavor and fewer, smaller seeds.
Unless, of course, you want a big one for zucchini bread (where flavor isn’t really important) or for tormenting your neighbors (where flavor isn’t at all important). If that’s the case, ignore your zucchini for a day or two…. They grow fast.
Regardless of size, a good collection of recipes is necessary to satisfy the palate as well as the gardener.
The Sticks are quickly prepared; bake, unattended and end with a nice crunch.
Baked Zucchini Sticks
Preparation and cooking time: 40 minutes
- 1 medium zucchini or yellow squash, about 8 inches (20cm)
- 1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
- 1 egg
- 2 tbs dry bread crumbs
- 2 tbs grated Parmesan cheese
- Wash zucchini and slice off stem and blossom ends.
- Cut it in half or thirds the short way. You want pieces 2 – 3″ long (5 – 8cm).
- Cut each section into sticks about 5/8″ (1cm) square. They won’t all be perfect, coming from a round vegetable, but close is good.
- In a flattish bowl whisk the mustard and the egg together.
- In another flattish bowl or plate mix the crumbs and cheese together.
- Roll the zucchini sticks in the egg, then the crumbs.
- Place on a nonstick baking sheet.
- Bake at 400F (200C) for 35 minutes, until coating starts to brown.
- Remove and serve.
Here are more Summer Vegetable Recipes.
If you would like ideas for complete weekly menus here is a 7-Day plan, a 6-Day Plan and 6 Main Courses. Each plan has all the recipes, with photos, plus the grocery list and all use fresh, seasonal ingredients.
Simplify your life for summer!