Nothing can strike fear into the hearts of a gardener like seeing a zucchini grow from 3 inches to 10 inches overnight.
Ideally, we should pick the zucchini when it’s young and tender; but it only takes a moment of inattention for it to become a monster.
Fortunately, it freezes well.
I freeze it in 2 different ways:
To freeze for soup:
or not, your choice: unpeeled leaves microscopic green flecks in the
finished soup which can be quite pretty; peeled leaves the soup a
creamy, pale green.
Roughly chop the zucchini and put it into a sauce
pan with enough chicken stock to just barely cover. Cover and bring to
a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer 10 – 15 minutes. Turn
heat off and let cool. When cool put into freezer containers or bags
I freeze it in 2 cup portions.
Freezer bags work great –
you can either lay them flat in the freezer or put them into a
container to give them shape – removing when frozen.
To use for soup:
Thaw or not. Saute a roughly chopped onion in 1 tbs butter in medium
saucepan. When onion is tender add zucchini and 1/2 tsp of thyme.
Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 – 15 minutes. Puree
in a blender or use a stick blender. Add more chicken stock if needed
to get desired consistency. Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche; hot
in winter, cold in summer.
Can also be added to other soups: Chicken Barley; Vegetable; Turkey Rice…. Pureed to thicken soup, or not.
To freeze for anything else:
Do not peel. Shred using large holes on box grater. Put into a freezer
bag and freeze.
I freeze 1 1/4, 2 1/2, and 3 3/4 cup bags. The extra
bit is for the liquid that you loose on thawing – if you want a cup of
zucchini, freeze 1 1/4 cups.
To use: I toss into stir-fry’s, casseroles, vegetable soups, anything where I
want a bit more veg. I also use it on it’s own in gratin’s, and most
of the recipes I use it for, fresh, in summer.
To store zucchini (courgette):
Courgette will keep for 5 – 7 days in the refrigerator. Gently brush off any
dirt but do not wash before storing. Take care to not damage the skin
of bruise it.
Now for the confession: 3 zucchini plants gave us enough to eat it constantly for 2 months straight; freeze 12 containers of soup, and 30 packages of frozen, shredded courgette….
And, some for the compost pile….
Did I plant 3 again the following year?
I planted 4 – 2 green and 2 yellow…. It’s a sickness…..
Next week: Tomatoes