Don't let your zucchini be like those tacky sweaters that Aunt Alice gives you every year for Christmas, though - forgotten and stuffed in a drawer somewhere. There are a surprising number of ways to cook this prolific summer vegetable, from grilled and sauteed to pureed in soups.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy zucchini is in baked goods - because who doesn't like cakes, muffins, and breads? Recently I baked a batch of these Zucchini-Lemon Muffins from Cooking Light. I'd bought a veggie box through a local organic food provider here in Alabama -- Freshfully -- and of course there were a couple of GIANT zucchinis in the box. This recipe calls for one cup of grated zucchini, plus a little sugar, nutmeg, and lemon rind for added flavor. No nutmeg in the pantry, but cinnamon made a good substitute in a pinch. I added some extra lemon juice as well.
So how'd they turn out? It seems that our harshest food critic, my 3.5-year-old daughter, LOVED these muffins! They've been a great go-to food for breakfast or after-school snacks. Even better, we know that she's getting extra vegetables in her diet, which can be a challenge when her favorite foods consist of yogurt, strawberries, ketchup, peanuts, and oh yes - more strawberries and yogurt.
Want more zucchini inspirations? Check out these recipe galleries: