Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
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Gadzooks – It’s That Time of Year Again!

June 1, 2018

The key to growing zucchini is to keep picking the fruits, even if you’re not going to use them. Once an individual fruit or two or three on a plant takes off and grows toward baseball-bat size, that plant will produce few or no new fruits until the offending biggie is removed to the compost or the chicken yard. (Larger fruits are seedy and fibrous and just don’t taste as good as small fruits.)

One way to keep ahead of those big fruits, if you’re not planning to use the smaller fruits soon, is to pick and use zucchini flowers. These are delicacies in many cultures and in fine restaurants. Remove the stems and the pistils (from female flowers) and stamens (from male flowers), and then dip the flowers in batter and deep fry them, or stuff them with rice and vegetables, ricotta, etc., and bake at 350 F for a few minutes (until cheese melts).

Zucchini flowers can also be chopped and added to soups or quesadillas. The Mexican sopa de flor de calabaza combines broth, chopped zucchini or other squash flowers, vegetables (tomatoes, potatoes, onions, corn, green beans …), butter, salt and pepper.  You can puree half the soup once it’s cooked and mix it with the remaining soup for a creamy texture.

If (when) you do get oversized zucchini, they can be stuffed with Maine organic meat and baked. Here’s a recipe:

Bake four whole zucchinis for about 10 minutes at 350 F, then cut them in half, remove the pulp to within 1/4 inch of the skin, and chop the pulp finely.  

Fry
1/4 pound pork sausage with
1/4 cup chopped onions

Add the sausage and onions to the chopped zucchini along with
1/2 c. cracker crumbs
1 slightly beaten egg
1/2 c. grated cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp. thyme

Scoop this into the zucchini shells and bake at 350 F for 25 minutes.

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