Six Recipes for all that Zucchini and Summer Squash

Sometimes our problem as permaculture gardeners is the pleasant one of abundance! Here are six suggestions for what to do with the last of the summer crop of zucchini and/or squash. Hopefully you’re checking frequently and not letting them get too big, but these recipes will also work with the baseball-bat-sized ones (just kidding). These recipes also highlight other summer crops like tomatoes, corn, and avocados.

1. Mexican Zucchini / Avocado Salad

Serves 4 to 8

4 small zucchini (or other summer squash) (about 1 lb), cut into 1/4 inch slices
8 green onions, sliced
1 Tb vegetable oil
1 medium avocado
1 Tb lemon juice
1 small green pepper, coarsely shredded or chopped


1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 Tb vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
Dash of pepper

Saute zucchini and green onions in heated oil, stirring constantly, until zucchini is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.
Refrigerate 2 hours or more.
Cut avocado into 1/4 inch slices, and sprinkle with lemon juice.
Add green pepper, prepare dressing by combining all ingredients, dress salad, and toss.

2. Gazpacho Soup with Zucchini Frittata
(can be served with corn on the cob)

Serves 4 to 6

Spanish Gazpacho Soup:

4 cups chicken broth
4 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 Tb olive oil
6 to 8 Tb lime juice (about 3 limes)
1 small red onion, diced
1 or 2 green or red bell peppers, chopped
1 or 2 stalks celery, chopped

Mix all ingredients together, blend in blender if smoothness is desired, chill as long as possible, and serve.

Optional additions: avocado, cucumber, oregano, wine, vinegar, garlic, cumin, watercress.

Zucchini Frittata:

1+1/2 Ib young zucchini chopped finely (about 4+1/2 cups chopped)
1 medium onion, diced
3 Tb olive oil
6 eggs
basil, minced, to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onions and zucchini in olive oil in a large skillet until soft.
Beat eggs with basil, salt, and pepper.
Spread the vegetables evenly around the pan, and pour the beaten eggs over them.
Cook at low heat until the eggs set.
Turn over by flipping onto a plate, then sliding it from the plate back into the skillet.
Cook briefly until firm all the way through.

3. Bengali Stewed Vegetables with Plantains

Serves 4

3 Tb vegetable oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 large potato
1 unripe (green) plantain
1 small eggplant, unpeeled
3 large outer leaves of cabbage
1 zucchini
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground pepper
3/4 tsp salt
1 tomato, chopped
lemon wedges (optional)

Cut all vegetables to bite-size cubes or slices.
Heat oil in a large frying pan, and fry cumin seeds until they become aromatic and darken.
Add vegetables successively in the order given, stirring to coat them with oil.

After the zucchini has been added, add the spices, plus 1+l/2 cups water, and mix well.
Cover and cook 10 minutes.

Finally, add tomato, cover, and cook until vegetables are tender but not mushy – about 5 to 10 minutes

Serve with rice and lemon wedges.

4. Gado Gado – An Indonesian Hot-Day Vegetable Salad

Serves 6 to 8

4 or 5 carrots, cut into long strips
1/2 Ib green beans, cut into 2-inch diagonal lengths
1/2 head cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 Ib bean sprouts
2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered or sliced
2 tomatoes, quartered or sliced
1 cucumber, sliced

Blanch the carrots for a few minutes, add the beans and cabbage, then add the sprouts, and steam for 1 more minute. Drain and chill.

Arrange on individual plates, and top with the other ingredients.

Serve with Peanut Sauce Dressing:

1/2 cup hot water or chicken broth
1/2 cup peanut butter or sesame seed paste (tahini)
1 clove garlic, pressed
2 Tb brown sugar
2 Tb vinegar or lemon juice
1/4 to 1/2 tsp crushed dried chilis
1/2 tsp salt

Gradually add water to peanut butter, stirring until smooth.
Blend in other ingredients.

Also good over blanched zucchini or other squash.

The Chinese of Hunan make a summer salad with very similar ingredients.
They add to the above: soy sauce, white wine, sesame oil, minced fresh ginger, hot mustard, scallions, and cilantro. Slivers of chicken may also be added, as well as bean threads or rice noodles.

5. Squash Soup with Lemon and Basil

Serves 4

2 Tb olive oil
1 large sweet red or white onion, diced
3 or more garlic cloves, diced or mashed
4 cups chicken broth
1 medium carrot
3 medium zucchini
3 medium summer squash
3 Tb fresh basil, coarsely shredded
slice of rind from 1/2-1 lemon

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Saute the onion and garlic for five minutes, until transparent.
Slice the
carrot, zucchini, and summer squash thinly and add to the pot with the broth, basil, and lemon rind.
five to ten minutes more.
Season with salt and pepper if desired.
When the vegetables are tender enough,
you may want to mash some or all of them with a potato masher to thicken the broth.

6. Zucchini Bread

Makes 2 loaves

5 eggs, beaten
1 1/8 cup oil
2 cups sugar or equivalent healthier substitute (*see note)
1 1/2 tsp grated lemon peel
3/4 tsp orange extract
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 cups grated zucchini (or other summer squash)
2 cups whole wheat flour (*see note)
2 cups white flour (*see note)
1 1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup chopped nuts (sunflower seeds and peanuts are nice)

Beat together well eggs, oil, and sugar; then stir in the rest of the first group of ingredients.
Combine second group; mix with first group; then add nuts.
Bake in two greased and floured 9×5-inch loaf pans at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
Cool in pans until bread turns out, then cool on wire rack.

* I hate to recommend anything with sugar, especially this much. I’ve only included this recipe because I used to make it before I gave up sugar (and wheat), and it did come out delicious. But please experiment with healthier sweeteners, i.e. honey, stevia, yucca, etc and let me know what works. Ditto the white wheat flour, and even the whole wheat flour.

Some recipes from: "Strawberries in November: A Guide to Year-Round Gardening in the East Bay" by Judith Goldsmith.


  1. I have just been reading an article by Joel Salatin – and he said that there is only one time of the year when the folks around his place lock their unattended vehicles. And that’s when it is squash season – to stop the neighbours filling up your car with their excess!
    Wouldn’t that be a great place to live….

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