A to Zucchini: Two Ways to Try

Oryana has been a proponent of local food since its inception in 1973. As farmer Jim Schwantes of Sweeter Song Farm said, “Before there was a local food movement, they were the local food movement.” And Oryana takes it an important step further by prioritizing organic, local food. At this time of year, our produce department is bursting with local, organic vegetables and fruits and one of our favorites is zucchini.

Although zucchini is technically a fruit, we typically use it to make savory dishes. The name comes from Italy and means ‘small pumpkin.’ Zucchini is very versatile and works great in many dishes ranging from gratins to stir fries, fritters, omelets, breads, salads and more. You can even stuff and cook the blossoms.

One zucchini plant can produce numerous zucchinis every week, hence its reputation for being so prolific. And if you happen to miss one hidden in the vines, the next thing you know, it might be a foot long! They are best eaten when small to medium but if they do get large, simply scoop out the seeds and use the flesh.

Here are two easy ways you can use this wonderful summer vegetable.

Zucchini Corn Salad

  • 3 ears corn, husks and silks removed
  • 2 medium zucchinis, diced small
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • Sea salt and ground pepper to taste

Stand corn in a wide, shallow bowl. With a sharp knife, slice downward to cut off the kernels. Add the zucchini, lime juice, olive oil, and herbs. Add salt and pepper and toss well to combine.

Zucchini Fritters

  • 2 cups packed, shredded zucchini, extra liquid squeezed out
  • 3 tablespoons onion, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Combine all ingredients in a bowl except oil. Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Drop rounded tablespoons zucchini mixture in hot oil and spread around to make a small pancake. Fry until edges begin to brown.  Carefully flip and cook until browned on the other side. Remove and keep warm on a baking pan in the oven at around 250°F. Serve warm with sour cream or plain Greek-style yogurt

Oryana Community Co-op, 260 E. Tenth St., Traverse City, MI 49684

Luise Bolleber is the Outreach and Marketing Specialist for Oryana Community Co-op. Contact Oryana at [email protected].