It's that time of year when wherever you look, there's zucchini.
Renée Kemps will help you to stop seeing zucchini and start seeing dinner.
If there is one vegetable we always have around and use in basically any way possible, it’s zucchini (which we call courgette here in Amsterdam). I learned to cook with zucchini from my mother, and whenever I make something with it, it reminds me of home. Most of the time, zucchini recipes push the vegetable to the background and put other flavors and ingredients at the forefront. But not in these five recipes.
Because of its texture, shape, and subtle flavor, there are so many ways to use zucchini: Cut it up in slices or cubes, transform it into ribbons that look like spaghetti, leave it whole and stuff it, or grate it into shreds.
Here's the plan:
- Buy a big box at the market—about 11 zucchini.
- Eat 4 of them straight-away in a courgetti salad.
- Use 2 to make quick bread you can eat throughout the week.
- Grate 2 and store the shreds in the fridge to make a soufflé the next day.
- Save 3 for cutting into slices and using in lasagna and frittata later in the week.
You’ll have an amazing zucchini feast all week long.
Courgetti Salad with Creamy Roquefort and Juicy Peaches
"Courgetti," or spaghetti made from zucchini, is the new thing and spiralizers have suddenly become a common kitchen gadget. You don’t have one? Me neither. Don’t panic: To make zucchini noodles, the only thing you need is a box grater (and you probably already have that). The noodles might look a tiny bit different, but they’ll be close enough.
I’ve always loved pairing cheese and fruit, something creamy with something juicy. The combination of peaches, Roquefort, and light and fresh zucchini—all united by a tangy lemon dressing—makes for an incredible salad.
Zucchini Bread with Crème Fraîche, Lemon Zest, and Hazelnuts
There’s a lot of banana breads and carrot cakes out there, but zucchini bread is harder to come by. That’s a shame, though, because it tastes just as good—maybe even better than its vegetable dessert cousins.
This is my absolute favorite recipe of the summer and I’ve made it over and over again. The flavor, texture, and versatility (breakfast, snack, dessert, you name it) have made it my go-to for summer. Garnished with crème fraîche, lemon zest, and crushed hazelnuts, it’s a healthy and delicious treat you'll want to have all day long.
We never used to eat soufflés at home—no one in our hometown did. But since I started my food blog, I have begun to cook many unfamiliar recipes and to introduce my family to new dishes. I love the lightness of soufflés and how easy they are to customize. You can pack them with vegetables, cheese, or a combination. I always love pairing zucchini with salty Parmesan, and it's especially good in an airy soufflé.
Green Vegetable Lasagna with Zucchini, Peas, and Green Beans
The first time I made this lasagna was about five years ago, when I wanted to serve my family something different that would satisfy us as much as our traditional lasagna. We had loads of zucchini in the garden, frozen peas in the freezer, and green beans in the fridge, so I decided to make a green dinner.
It was a huge success and has become our favorite recipe for family meals. It takes only ten minutes to assemble and thirty minutes to bake, and the combination of crunchy green vegetables and creamy but fresh white sauce is hard to resist.
Zucchini Frittata with Caramelized Red Onions and Goat Cheese
Frittatas are my dad’s go-to lunch. You can just throw anything you want in a skillet, add some herbs and an egg mixture, crumble cheese on top, and you’ll have something amazing to eat. Whenever possible, my dad adds caramelized red onions and goat cheese, a favorite combination in our family. If we have some cherry tomatoes lying around, those will go in, too.
Zucchini is another perfect addition. Since it cooks down so easily, you can use a lot of it for a vegetable-heavy lunch; it also retains its texture and goes very well with almost any other vegetable you have around. The zucchini flowers on top make the dish look (and taste) extra good, but they're completely optional.
2 small red onions
1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 zucchini flowers (optional)
1 clove garlic, minced
4 large eggs
10 sprigs thyme
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup milk
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
130 grams goat cheese
Photos by Renée Kemps