Week 7 Finalists: Best Zucchini or Summer Squash Recipe

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Tuscan Grilled Zucchini and Summer Squash by Stefano Coppola

This dish is a great example of the whole equalling more than the sum of its parts. At first glance, this recipe seems simple enough, but we've never tasted grilled zucchini quite like this. The porous squash soaks up the lemon, garlic, herbs and chili in the marinade, and after a quick char on the barbecue, it's positively bursting with flavor. Add the soft, mellow sweetness of red onion grilled in its own skin and you've got a bowl of vegetables that's addictive. You'll have leftover marinade, which is a good thing: reuse it to grill more veggies or drizzle over a salad. Stefano Coppola doesn't specify this, but we marinated the squash at room temperature. We also seasoned the skewers generously with salt and pepper before throwing them on the grill, adding a bit more seasoning later along with a tablespoon of oil from the marinade.


Soaking the skewers prevents them from flaming up. Totally worth the forethought.


Meat tenderizers -- a very effective tool for smashing garlic.

The recipe makes a ton of marinade (it calls for 2 cups of extra virgin olive oil -- oy!) but the marinade can then be used again, or as a dressing, and it's delicious!

We cut the squash into rough 1-inch pieces, although sometimes our interpretation of 1-inch was looser than others...

We left the vegetables to marinade at room temperature, with great success.

The red onion halves are to be used with paper on. Trust the recipe!

Although it wasn't specified, we seasoned the skewers before grilling.

The red onion halves charred on all sides as the squash skewers were cooking. The grilled squash tasted great with just a hint of char.

After the onions were good and dark, we steamed them.

They were tender and sweet all the way through- a great method for cooking onions on the grill.

After we removed the squash from the skewers, and sliced the red onion, we seasoned again and added 1T of the oil from the marinade to barely dress it.

This vegetable was absolutely delicious.


Zucchini-Lemon Cookies by TheNaptimeChef

When we first saw this recipe, we knew we had to try it. TheNaptimeChef had come up with a concept we'd never considered before, and we were both intrigued and hopeful. These cookies are delicate and ultra-lemony, the crisp buttery base anchoring a tender, cakey dome. The zucchini is subtle, but every few bites it makes its presence known with a pleasant, vegetal undertone. After our first taste, we agreed that these brought to mind a modern-day English tea cake -- we felt a hankering for a cuppa. The cookies were browning a bit too quickly after the first 12 minutes, so we turned the heat down to 350 degrees for the last 3. If, like we did, you use dark baking sheets, you may want to do the same. The cookies are perfectly cooked when they have a delicate smattering of light brown "freckles" on top.

We didn't end up using the full zucchini.

Grating the zucchini is surprisingly satisfying.

Creaming together the butter and sugar until creamy and light.

We found that to get 2T of lemon zest, we needed 2 lemons.

We added the flour slowly with the mixer on low. We were wary, but it worked like a charm.

Merrill had an ingenious trick for keeping the parchment on the cookie sheet -- dab a touch of batter on the corners, and press the parchment down on top!

The cookies baked quickly at 375, so after 12 minutes we lowered the temperature to 350. They took 15 minutes in all, and were lovely and golden on the bottoms. The tops of the cookies had just barely begun to show the slightest hint of color, and they were perfectly cakey.