It's zucchini time, everybody! This is the happy season when your neighbor over-produces squash and the vegetable takes over. Suddenly people are anonymously leaving bags of zucchinis on people's doorsteps -- or are you one of those stealth zucc bombers?
At any rate, you've got to find something to do with them, right? Well here are 20 ideas for using zucchini. Warning: not all of these ideas are edible.
1. Animal art. As you can see in the picture above, all you need is a cucumber and toothpicks for a mean Orca. Killer Zucc!
2. Juggling practice.
3. Zucchini carpaccio. Thinly slice the zucchini (paper thin, if you can) and toss with olive oil, lemon juice, and shaved Parmesan.
4. Paper weight. At some point it will rot, true, but you should have at least 2 weeks.
5. Door stop. See #4 re: rotting.
6. Zucchini fritters. These are amazing. Try Martha's recipe.
7. Sufferin' succotash! Cook chopped zucchini and other veggies (corn, lima beans, peppers) in olive oil over low heat, add cream near the end, and toss with chopped bacon.
8. Just grill it. Slice lengthwise 1/2-inch thick, brush both sides with olive oil, and grill until very soft on each side. Add as much salt as your doctor allows.
9. Chocolate cake. I hear you can put grated zucchini in chocolate cake and no one will be the wiser. I'm skeptical, but here's the Epicurious recipe if you want to try it. Anyone ever pull this off successfully?
10. Fetching toy for your dog. Maybe too soft? Well in that case ...
11. Put in the freezer for a giant teething toy for your baby. Non-toxic!
12. Teach your children how to whittle the safe way, with a butter knife.
13. Grate and freeze -- because maybe you'll get a craving for zucchini bread in February.
14. Grate into your marinara sauce the next time you make spaghetti. Be sure to simmer until the squash is soft to the point of dissolving completely into the sauce.
15. Zucchini slaw. Use any coleslaw recipe and just swap in grated or matchstick-cut zucchini.
16. Go on a zucchini hunt with your children in the park. Why isn't this a September ritual? Oh, it's totally normal for people to hide eggs in a park and then make their children go find them, but it's weird to do a zucchini hunt? Come on, let's make this a new American tradition!
17. Ratatouille, it's not just a movie. Here's Julia Child's recipe for the southern French specialty.
18. Zucchini Lincoln logs. Just cut notches into the ends and your child can make a large-scale log cabin. Neat!
19. Stuffed zucchini. Slice in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds and some of the flesh, and fill with cooked sausage. Top with cheese and breadcrumbs and roast at 350 degrees until warm and bubbly.
20. Zucchini boat. Slice in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds and some of the flesh. Don't fill with sausage. Instead, fill with a Lego mini man and send him downstream. That's one less tiny plastic toy for you to step on in the middle of the night.
What do you do with zucchini?
Image via Adriana Velez