Well the time has come for us all to be managing “crop abundance”. I don’t want to call it “overabundance” or any other term with negative connotation. We need to be happy, delighted, thankful for this time of abundance! My friend Beth was being extremely generous with her bounty of zucchini. I happily obliged her generosity and made some of my favorite zucchini dishes tonight. 


The zucchini provençal is one of my favorites .  I assure you that the aroma drifting through the house will give you and your guests much pleasure. On the really hot days, I have made this dish very successfully on the grill by using the grill as an oven. I have put together approximate quantities but this is a dish that just needs to be thrown together without a recipe. You do want thin and young zucchini. You can use canned Roma tomatoes or peeled fresh tomatoes. Make this your recipe:  add your favorite spices such as oregano, thyme, rosemary or marjoram. I use a blend called “fines herbs” from France, but Italian spice blends also work…OR don’t use any spices except salt and pepper. I’ve done it this way also and it is a great, rich and classy dish no matter what spicing you use. Just please don’t overspice.  Let the flavors of the sweet onion, zucchini and tomato shine through.
Zucchini Provençal (serves 4)
11 by 8 inch baking dish
1 to 2 medium sweet onions, thinly sliced
1 to 2 Tbs olive oil
3-zucchini (6-8 inch long and 1 ½ in diameter ) thinly sliced (about ¼ to 1/8th inch)
3 to 5 peeled  and sliced tomatoes (canned or fresh) sliced to ¼ inch 
1/4  cup of Dijon mustard
2 -peeled and crushed garlic cloves
4 Tbs. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
½ to 1 tsp. of fines herbs or any other Italian or French herb combination such as marjoram, thyme, oregano, rosemary. Don’t over spice! 
1 Tbs. grated parmesan cheese
  1. Fry the onions in  1-2 Tbs. olive oil with a little salt until soft and beginning to brown (15-20 minutes) stirring every few minutes so they don’t burn.
  2. Spread the cooked onions in the bottom of the baking dish that has been lightly oiled.
  3. Arrange the sliced zucchini in rows overlapping rows over the onions and salt.
  4. Arrange the sliced tomatoes on top.
  5. Make an emulsion by slowly adding the olive oil to the mustard so it all binds together. Then add the garlic and spices and spread over the top of the vegetable mixture. 
  6. Sprinkle with the cheese and Bake at 400 for 30 minutes or until beginning to brown.
Another wonderful way to use zucchini is making curried zucchini soup. I never use a recipe for this. I just fry sweet onions, add chunks of zucchini and fry them and then briefly fry curry powder. I then add chicken or vegetable broth and simmer until the zucchini is soft. Then I put it all in the blender or food processor, taste for seasoning and serve as is or add cream or milk. This soup is great hot or chilled. But for those of you that need a recipe I have imposed on my friend Abby Nash to share this curried zucchini soup recipe from his Cornell CAU cooking class .
6 servings
onion, LG, chopped ½″/1 cm
unsalted butter
2 T
salt & freshly ground pepper
to taste
zucchini, chopped ½″/1 cm
1 ¼ lbs = 570 g
curry powder
2 t
chicken stock, vegetable stock or H2O
≈3 c
½ c
heavy cream
1 c
fresh parsley or chives, washed, dried, minced
2 T


Notes: This soup is thickened w/ puréed veggies, giving it a delicate, creamy texture.  ½ & ½ may be substituted for the milk & cream.
1. In LG heavy saucepan over med. heat cook onions in butter w/ S&P to taste, stirring often, until softened, ≈8-10 min.  DON’T BROWN (or soup color will be compromised)!
2. Add zucchini & curry powder, stir well, cook, stirring often, 3-4 min.  DON’T BROWN.  Add stock or H2O just to cover.  Bring to boil, stir well, reduce to simmer, & cook partially covered until zucchini is just tender (easily pierced w/ a knife but not mushy), ≈8-10 min.
3. In food processor using knife attachment purée solids w/ a bit of the cooking liquid.  Add remaining cooking liquid.  Strain solids & liquid.
4. In med. saucepan over med. heat whisk in milk & cream into purée, a little at a time, until thinned to desired consistency.  Bring just to boil, add S&P to taste.
5. Service: chilled, or hot in preheated bowls.  Garnish w/ parsley or chives.
My final recommendation for a wonderful use for both corn and zucchini abundance is a zucchini corn fritter recipe which I adapted from two recipes created by the Wegmans chefs. Renée Senne served this version sans zucchini at her wine and cheese reception which she hosts on Tuesday nights at Wegmans and which is an event not to be missed. This dish comes together very quickly and the fritters should be eaten right away while still crispy. You can use raw corn but it is also a great use for the extra ears that didn’t get eaten. Just shuck them and use them the next day in the fritters.

Corn and Zucchini Fritters: Makes 20-24 fritters
2 eggs
½ cup water
2 Tbs butter melted and cooled
1 cup flour
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
2 cups shredded zucchini (do not use the seeds if the zucchinis are too big)
2 cups corn kernels (2-4 ears)
1 cup grated cheese (Mexican or Italian blend, cheddar, jalapeño Monterey Jack etc)
2 Tbs chopped scallions
Olive oil
  1. Mix the eggs and water and melted butter together.
  2. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and pepper and mix together. 
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix together.
  4. Heat olive oil in a frying pan, preferable nonstick.
  5. Drop the fritter batter by large spoonfuls so they spread to about 3 ½ inches each.
  6. Fry over high heat, putting down to medium if it browns too quickly and cook about 2-3 minutes a side until golden brown.
  7. Drain on paper towels and serve while hot or quickly reheat them in frying pan to crisp them up again.