It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to askdrgourmet@drgourmet.com and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.

Please note that the Ask Dr. Gourmet feature is restricted to questions regarding food and nutrition. Due to the many questions we receive, not all questions may be answered. For more specific questions about your individual health, please contact your doctor. About Timothy S. Harlan, M.D. | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy

 


          

Ask Dr. Gourmet



What can I do with really large zucchini?

Almost anyone who has grown zucchini has had ones that got very big and mature - I'm talking 3 inches or more in diameter. Do you have any good recipes for these? I've used them for zucchini bread, but wonder if there are other uses; the more zucchini they use the better.

Dr. Gourmet Says...

Zucchini

You're right about growing zucchini. The last time I planted some it almost took over my garden. By the end of the season I did have a number of large ones.

Larger zucchini tend to be a bit on the drier side and the texture slightly coarse. When I am shopping for zukes in the market I generally don't purchase ones that are much more than about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

Making zucchini bread is a great use for the larger zucchini as you say. We have a recipe on the website for a Zucchini Pizza Crust. While this isn't technically a pizza "crust" it is a wonderful departure from regular pizza dough. The larger, slightly drier zucchini are perfect for this recipe.

Cutting zucchini into ribbons makes a great substitute for pasta in dishes. Some vegetable peelers will work well for this letting you "slice" flat ribbons of zucchini much like the shape of pappardelle. Very large zukes might require using a mandoline.

Lastly, cutting the larger vegetable into smaller dice will help as well. Zucchini absorbs water quickly when it is cooking. By cutting into a dice you increase the surface area that it can absorb water and will help the texture. Adding the diced zucchini to pasta sauces works great.

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, M.D.
Dr. Gourmet