It’s that time of year when zucchini is abundant in gardens, the produce section of the grocery store, and at farmers’ markets. There’s often so much of it coming in at once that gardeners don’t quite know what to do with it. One old joke says that mid to late August is the only time when residents of many small towns in New England feel the need to lock their car doors -- the reason being that if they don’t, well-intentioned neighbors will deposit bags of surplus zucchini squash on the seat.
Now, zucchini has a relatively short shelf life, even when refrigerated, so I recommend using it as soon as possible. If you end up with more than you need, and it’s starting to go bad, here’s a quick way to store them for future use:
Wash them, cut off the ends and any damaged parts (don’t peel them), and then puree them to a liquid pulp in a blender. Freeze the zucchini puree in approximately 1-2 cup portions in ziplock bags, labeled and dated. The puree can be thawed at any time and used, among other things as a thickener for sauces – your family will not even realize it’s there -- and as a less calorifying substitute for oil to lend moisture to cakes, brownies,muffins and the like.
But there are, of course, many very nice recipes that call for zucchini, some of them wonderfully simple and fast, like the one here.