While growing up in the Northwest, my brother grew a vegetable garden in our back yard. I had a flower garden in the front.
He planted one zucchini seed and within weeks we had enough squash to feed not only our family, but our neighborhood and the east side of Portland. Unfortunately, other people in our town grew it too. We would emerge from church to see bags of zucchini arms hanging from our car door as gifts from previous friends.
My mother sliced and boiled the stuff until it turned into a limp, green, watery goo. The sickly green stuff fell from the spoon to the plate with an unappetizing plop. Sometimes there were mature seeds huddled among the mass, adding a strange and chewy texture. We were told to add margarine, salt and pepper to make it taste good. We were also told not to gag at the table.
Because of my scarred past, I hesitated to grow zucchini in my garden as an adult, but one day my friend, Bree, ripped a six-inch squash from under a healthy leaf. She said, “Here is your lunch! Single serving size. Saute it in a little butter with garlic.” I took it home and cooked it as she said, then took a bite. Love for zucchini and envy for her plant immediately consumed me. Until that day, I didn’t think zucchini was ready for harvest until it resembled the arm of a sumo wrestler.
Since that summer, I’ve grown and enjoyed the little green squash. They can explode from the tender little baby size to adult arms in about two days, so I watch the plants closely. I’ve found some marvelous recipes for zucchini, but this one is my favorite. It comes from Molly Wizenburg’s A Homemade Life. I highly recommend this book for the read as well as the recipes.
Zucchini Noodles with Pesto
1 ½ lb zucchini, made into spaghetti with a mandolin
(You could also thinly slice this or make it into small
sticks and it would still taste great)
3 T Olive oil
¾ lb spaghetti
1/2-3/4 cup pesto
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Boil spaghetti noodles in salted water until aldente’. Meanwhile,
saute zucchini in large frying pan with oil until just tender, 5-8
minutes. Add noodles with plenty of noodle water and pesto.
Toss until mixed. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.