The trouble with late summers bounty of zucchini isnt in the volume of the vegetable itself. Rather, it is in the lack of creative recipes for using it.
Because, frankly, what the world most certainly does not need are more recipes for zucchini muffins and breads and casseroles. The website AllRecipes.com, for example, lists about 244 recipes for zucchini bread alone. In fact, there are so many that users of the site have stopped even trying to come up with creative names for the recipes, instead resorting to Roman numerals. A slice of Zucchini Bread VI, anyone?
So it has been a long time since I have been impressed by a zucchini recipe. Using a vegetable peeler to turn it into ribbons for a salad is benign. Shredding it into strands for pasta is creative, if not particularly delicious. And I have no interest in yet another variant of stuffing and baking them, no matter how much bacon, sausage and cheese you jam in there.
But recently I was impressed by, yes ... a zucchini recipe. I no longer thought this was possible.
A generous reader sympathetic to my ongoing battle to get my 8-year-old son to embrace more vegetables directed me to a recipe for zucchini hummus on blogger Kait Capones site, LaCucinadiKait.com. The recipe is precisely as it sounds a hummus-like spread made from ground zucchini.
The name doesnt do it justice, hence I tried it somewhat reluctantly. As is my wont, I modified the recipe the first time I tried it. The recipe calls for pureeing raw zucchini, which held little appeal for me. So I grilled it first. I also upped the garlic and added smoked paprika and salt. The result was insanely good.
A few more modifications in round two and I had something Id long thought impossible an amazingly delicious, creative and even healthy way to use zucchini.
What to do with it? It certainly would make a fine sandwich spread or dip for vegetables, crackers or hunks of pita bread. I dumped some over a salad of baby greens and roasted vegetables and it was fantastic.
If you dont want to crank up the grill, you also could pop the zucchini under the broiler for a few minutes. Coat the zucchini lightly with cooking spray or olive oil, then set on the ovens lowest rack. Broil just until very lightly browned and starting to get tender.