When Squashes Weigh More Than Children. . . I'm Calling Your Name, Zucchini
Summer squashes grow like weeds, we know. One minute we have cute little baby squash leaves, and the next minute—uh-oh!—we find groundhog-sized monsters lurking under the zucchini foliage. Big squashes are in the business of making squash seeds, ensuring future generations of little squash babies. They grow as big as human infants. They forget about making us happy with pleasing texture and flavor. In fact, some summer squashes, like a few unlucky humans, become bitter in their old age. Still. Big Squash Happens. What are your options?
- Be a hardliner for tender squash: leave big squash alone. Never accept. Always destroy.
- Compost them.
- Feed them to the pigs or chickens.
- Leave them on the front porch of misbehaving neighbors.
Partial Use Tactics
Note: These approaches require strength of character and some standing on principle. One principle in particular: No Zucchini Bread.
- Rescue some parts for salads or noodle replacement. Peel completely with a vegetable peeler. Discard the peel, and then keep peeling into long near-white ribbons. Stop peeling when the first signs of pithiness appear. Pitch the now somewhat reduced squash innards into compost or animal feed. Salt the rescued ribbons generously and drain them in a colander for 20 minutes. Use in a fresh vegetable salad or sauté for 30 seconds with olive oil, garlic and seasonings; use as a replacement for noodles. Paleo/Primal/PHD/Ancestral eaters: this works for you.
- Rescue some parts for soups. Halve the squash lengthwise. Ruthlessly scoop out all seeds and pithy parts for compost or chickens. Peel the giant squash boat. Chop into rough cubes; salt generously, and drain in a colander for 20 minutes. Press gently to squeeze out even more liquid. For immediate use, sauté along with onions or garlic as the start for soup that will be blended. For future use, freeze in plastic bags. These squash cubes help, slightly, with thickening soups without using grains.
Photo credit Lisay: Thank you!