If you have a garden and if, in that garden, you have a healthy zucchini plant, then you know that zucchini is the crop that keeps on giving. And, if you’re an airhead like me, and neglect to check your zucchini plant every couple of days, you will inevitably end up with a squash—or two, or three—the size of a baseball bat. As a result, I’ve made a lot of zucchini dishes this summer: zucchini tuna patties, zucchini bread, zucchini muffins, chickpea zucchini cakes, potato broccoli zucchini nuggets, zucchini pizza crust, zucchini bread pancakes.…The list goes on. When I found myself with yet another enormous zucchini in the garden, I felt a little desperate. What next? Zucchini lasagne? Zucchini fries? I needed a recipe that would use up a lot of squash. After a little internet research, I settled on zucchini applesauce and zucchini butter (spread?).
I started chopping and grating like a mad woman. I estimated that zucchini applesauce and zucchini spread would take roughly the same amount of time to cook, so I made them simultaneously:
For the zucchini applesauce, I used about a pound (maybe more) of zucchini and two apples. For the zucchini spread, I used one fat leek and two pounds of zucchini. The zucchini applesauce turned out nice and tart thanks to the addition of apple cider vinegar. It’s darker that regular applesauce, but it actually tastes pretty similar.
For the zucchini butter, I followed a recipe by Jennie Cook that I found on theKitchn. You basically cook a big pile of shredded zucchini in a generous amount of olive oil (1/4 cup). It takes awhile to cook off all the zucchini liquid and for the zucchini to caramelize. This is not hands on time, you can wander about and clean your house, do some laundry, or organize your sock drawer while stirring periodically. When it’s almost done, the zucchini will start to brown and stick to the bottom of the pan. Then you’ll have to stay with it and keep stirring and scraping in order to incorporate all that flavor gold back into the spread.
I cooked the zucchini for 50 minutes to get it nice and thick and jammy. Be sure to season well with salt and pepper to bring out the zucchini flavor.
So, what does one do with zucchini spread? I don’t know exactly, but it’s a darn fine condiment. I ate it for lunch on toast with some nice cheese on top:
I think zucchini spread would be great in sandwiches, on pizza, with scrambled eggs, on crackers, added to pasta, etc. I can’t wait to find another gigantic zucchini in the garden so I can make another batch of zucchini spread. For reals.