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36 responses to “What to Do with All that Zucchini”

  1. Rob

    If you’re interested Hank, I have a great recipe for a Northern Italian torta that can be done with zucchini. Very rustic. Got it from my wife’s grandma, who got it from her mother who brought it with her through Ellis Island.

    Let me know.

  2. Madhavi

    Nice. I like the non-dead animal dishes.

  3. Jennifer

    Hank – my mouth is watering! These look great.

  4. Josh

    I could just cry… my zuks won’t grow, and neither will my cukes. I’m certain my soil has a bacterial wilt in it… Next year, new soil, and big, raised beds.

    In the meantime, I’ll bum some off the fam damily.

  5. rebecca

    I’m overrun with tiny green and deliciously tart apples growing in my backyard. With over 7,000 varieties, I wouldn’t hazard a guess as to what they are, but I never suspected it was an apple tree. I’ll trade you my mystery apples for some zuccinni!

  6. Ben

    By far my favorite way to eat zucchini is a sort of a flash-drying process: Slice them very thin lenthwise on a mandoline, like 1/8 inch, then put them on a hot charcoal grill for 30 seconds or until they just begin to brown, turn, grill 30 seconds more, and then spread on a plate and drizzle with salt, olive oil, and fresh spear mint. One grill-full tends to correspond to one layer. The texture is incredible, fully cooked but al dente rather than mushy. I’m told this is a Neapolitan preparation; it’s clearly closely related to your Sicilian style.

    Any word on the lard crew?

  7. Tina

    While I would happily kill for good pork fat, Pennsylvania is not exactly in your neighborhood (although I’m on vacation in Seattle, but still too far off…sigh…)

    On the other topic, while I realize that zucchini bread is not everyone’s thing, I do have a fabulous recipe for a chocolate zucchini cake that could seriously drive you to distraction.

  8. Audrey

    Intriguing combination of ingredients and techniques. I’ll have to try it out, but first we need to grow the things! Hoping to have our first squash by Aug 1.

  9. rebecca

    As long I get a taste of whatever the apples become, we’ve a deal. You and Holly should swing by and grab a bag.

  10. Jesse

    The zukes are overrunning the garden here so this post comes in real handy Hank. Thanks to all for their recipes

  11. ntsc

    Zuccini is the only vegetable with it’s own zip code.

    Advice picked up from Cornell on growing squash. Do it in containers with new potting soil each year.

  12. dmsintexas


    Don’t forget the often neglected Zuccini Cannon for purposes of home defense. Squash on.


  13. we are never full

    wow… in love with this idea. really, really in love with it. i wish i had more damn space to do things like this.

  14. pjnoir

    I worked in Trenton when I got out of college and there was this joke that I heard in the “Little Italy” section of the city In late summer, you need to keep your car doors LOCKED or you will find your backseat full of Zuccinis in the morning. Everyone had gardens and grew the stuff.

  15. Tamar

    Many years ago, when Molly O’Neill had a column in the NYTimes Magazine, she wrote about growing up in the kind of place where no one ever locked their cars. Except in zucchini season, when, if you left it unlocked, you would come back to find your car filled with zucchini.

    Just found you (via Cottage Smallholder). Thanks for the zucchini tips. Since I just signed up for my hunter safety class, I’ll be back for the game recipes.

  16. Tamar

    PS — And just now I see that another commentor heard the same story! It got around, I see.

  17. The Food Plot: The HGAC’s Sicilian Sun-Dried Zucchini |

    [...] So, you got a few zucchini left over from yesterday’s excursion to the garden or from your friend’s last visit 10 minutes ago? Read the tale that goes along with the recipe from Hank Shaw, aka Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, and “boyfriend” of outdoor blogger Holly Heyser, who does most of Hank’s food photography. Lucky gal, lucky guy and lucky us … ‘cuz this zucchini recipe looks mouthwatering marvelous. See [...]

  18. The Cottage Smallholder » It’s my seventh week off work. Great blogs and dehydrators.

    [...] fruit and vegetables. Hank over at Hunter Angler Gardener Cook had me licking my lips over his dried zucchini.  But we don’t have a sweltering garage and I didn’t want to waste fuel running the oven all [...]

  19. Sharon

    Having made my way here via The Cottage Smallholder, and with the inevitable glut of zucchini (or courgettes as we like to call them), I am now desperate for Rob’s Northern Italian torta recipe.

    Can you pass it on please?

  20. Summer Bounty…and what to do with zucchini « musings of a kitchen witch

    [...] aside from a plan for zucchini bread/cake/muffins, trying out Sun-dried Zucchini, and wondering about the feasibility of zucchini chips…I’m on the search for fresh [...]

  21. chrisereae

    Your homebrew squash drying method reminds me very much of the traditional Hidatsa Indian technique described in “Buffalo Bird Womans Garden.” I have found it an interesting read and you may also enjoy it.

  22. Winnie

    Hank this is awesome! Going to make these this week.

  23. Karen @ My Pantry Shelf

    Great idea! I love the thought of putting the stifling heat of our garage to good use (not to mention the loads of zucchini that our garden is already producing).

  24. Jenn

    I’ve frozen zucchini before and it works, but not great – I’d much rather dry it and this sounds wonderful.

    I’ll second you on the zucchini bread and another commenter on the chocolate zucchini cake – it is wonderful, so moist, so rich!

  25. Joey Meicher

    If you were to preserve them in olive oil with herbs and chili, would you need to process them in a water bath? I feel like that may turn the zukes to mush. Does the cure/drying process take care of preventing bacteria growth and botulism? I think people would appreciate zucchini as a gift if it came canned in olive oil. Thanks for the idea, I look forward to experimenting!!

  26. AlizaEss

    Oh my god, this recipe looks amazing! So unusual and yet so simple. Can’t wait to try it!

  27. Kim Graves

    Hi Hank, A couple of things: we found a good book you might be interested in: “Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning” by The Gardeners & Farmers of Terra Vivante. (see:

    The zucchini and beans are coming hot and heavy with the tomatoes to follow soon. So your reprint is most welcome. We have one of those tent green houses with wire shelves that gets up to 120 everyday. The screened doors keep the insects off the veg. So we cut up two giant zucc and spread them over the shelves. I’m hoping this works – I hate canning.

    Yesterday the question of botulism came up for us too. “Should I ask Hank?” I said to Masha. But I see someone has beaten me to it.

    As far as we can find out (see: botulism is an anaerobic bacteria that creates spores found. It’s found in the soil that forms a toxin as it grows. So storing the veg in oil won’t kill the bacteria – it’s anaerobic – it needs a no air environment to grow. And if the bacteria is present the toxin gets formed. Cooking the veg before you eat it will kill the bacteria, but the toxin will still be present. It seems you need to kill whatever bacteria might be present before it creates the toxin. The above book recommends a boiling vinegar bath for the dried veg that is then poured off prior to preserving in oil. The acid kills the bacteria making a sterile environment.

    All this said, I am NOT a microbiologist so take whatever I say with a very large grain of salt. In addition these methods have been used for millennium to preserve food. You’d think that they wouldn’t still be used if they routinely produced a poisonous product. Finally I have no idea what the temperature required to kill the bacteria is. Our compost pile gets up to 120 and is supposed to kill everything. If I dry the veg in a 120 degree greenhouse, you would hope that would also kill everything. If anyone has any better information, we would be very interested to hear.

    Congrats on the success of your book.

    Best, Kim

  28. Kim Graves

    Looks like my above note is incorrect. The toxin is rendered inert by cooking, but the spore is not destroyed and can create more toxin if stored in an anaerobic environment. E.g.: canned veg can produce botulism even after being heated. Stored raw garlic in oil is especially known to be botulism prone. See:

    So I wrote to the author of the article I cited above. Our correspondence follows:

    Hi Barbara,

    My wife and I read your Botulism fact sheet ( and have a question. We have an excess of summer vegetable and would like to dry and oil cure some for winter use. We have an unused greenhouse that gets up to 120º where we dry the sliced veg. Is this hot enough to kill the C. botulinum bacteria? Do you think additional precautions are necessary? One recipe we found calls for dipping all dried veg and herbs in boiling vinegar prior to encasing them in oil.

    Please advice. Many thanks.




    We do not recommend storing vegetables in oil for the reason that you cite – risk of botulism poisoning. If you were to do this, the vegetables must be very dry, water activity less than 0.85. The greenhouse temperature might kill the vegetative cells of C. botulinum over time, but would not affect the spores. It is the spores that we worry about.


  29. Stella

    After I dehydrate tomatoes I pack em in bags and store in the freezer ..just to be safe. Maybe that would also work for the dried zucchini?

  30. Jonathan

    My mother-in-law (Maltese) often uses zucchini (although she prefers marrow). Her recipe is quite close to the one quoted above but she adds a small amount of bread crumbs as well.

  31. Tomato Confit

    [...] Sicilian Sun-Dried Zucchini from Hank Shaw at Hunter Angler Gardener Cook [...]

  32. Debra

    Hi, I was reading your post on drying zucchini and thought I would add a suggestion. I was watching the travel channel and they were in Italy and they were drying vegetables and zucchini in particular. They were salting as you did but they would layer then on a screen and set them in the sun to dry, they were also drying fish this way. this may be a new option for you to try. I hope it helps I may try it my self. Debra

  33. July and Growing « Welcome!

    [...] Hank Shaw’s site; Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook he has a recipe for Scicilian Sun-dried Zucchini.  It looks great and best of all, easy! photo [...]

  34. Round-Up #54: Veg Head Edition | Swallow FoodSwallow Food

    [...] Plant some zucchini this spring, then when you get a bumper crop and have no idea what do with it you can try this method from California cookbook author Hank Shaw. [via Hunter Angler Gardener Cook] [...]

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