ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
By now, many of you have probably just about had it with zucchini. It's both the joy and bane of gardeners and cooks - joy because there is zucchini bread, zucchini fritters, stuffed zucchini blossoms, ratatouille; bane because there's just too much zucchini. These squash plants grow aggressively, prodigiously. We at Found Recipes feel your pain.
KATIE WORKMAN: I feel like the zucchini plants are starting to braid themselves together into human form, and that they might come inside and kill us in our sleep.
SIEGEL: That's Katie Workman, the woman behind "The Mom 100" cookbook and blog.
WORKMAN: You need to take your vegetable peeler, and go outside to that garden and show those zucchini who's boss.
SIEGEL: Katie Workman is one of three cooks we enlisted in the fight against zucchini fatigue.
WORKMAN: If you take a raw zucchini and a vegetable peeler, you will end up with a gorgeous, raw zucchini ribbon salad. All I do is take the zucchini, peel them stem to stern - try to get a little bit of that pretty, green skin on each one; and then just toss those paper-thin slices with lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper, olive oil, maybe a handful of fresh herbs.
And if you want to take it up a level, you can try a very modern Greek salad with feta and roasted tomatoes, pieces of lemon. Toss those up with some lettuce and some zucchini strips; and you have a gorgeous, very contemporary Greek salad.
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JULIA DELLA CROCE: I have been confronted with the overabundant zucchini problem many summers because I have a garden. This is Julia della Croce, and I'm a cookbook author and food writer.
Here's what you do with the zucchini: fusilli with zucchini and goat cheese. It's going to use about a pound and a half of zucchini - the small ones. You cut it into little, matchstick shapes; saute it in fragrant olive oil which has a little bit of garlic in it. Cook them until they're lightly browned. Take the zucchini off the heat; and then you combine it with the pasta, with the fusilli - they're like a little spring; it actually means corkscrews - just drained; still piping hot, very moist.
You're going to combine that pasta with the goat cheese, which is going to melt from the heat of the pasta. You toss it all together - with the zucchini and the fresh basil and the fresh parsley. The goat cheese is tangy so it really is a nice foil to that bland sweetness of the zucchini. That zap of the goat's cheese - it's just perfect.
JAY BENTLEY: Well, you know, I really like those recipes; they sound wonderful. But me, I love to eat meat. So I thought I'd throw together something that incorporated zucchini and flank steak, which is a great summer option. Oh, by the way, I'm Jay Bentley. I own Open Range Restaurant in downtown Bozeman, Mont.
So my recipe is iron-grilled zucchini and flank steak, Asian-style, with five spice. Quite simply, it's 2 pounds of marinated flank steak; three to four medium to large zucchinis - large being, of course, very relative. Some of them get big enough to club somebody to death with them, you know, but you don't want them quite that large.
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And then I do a marinade out of vegetable oil, peanut oil, canola - whatever you want - sesame oil; fresh garlic, soy, fresh limes, some five-spice powder and sugar. And take the steak - I marinate it for a couple of days; cook it over a very hot, cast-iron griddle or plancha. Basically sear both sides; do the same with the zucchini. And then you arrange it very nicely on a plate, in kind of an alternative thing - with meat, zucchini, meat, zucchini - and then you drizzle the remaining marinade over that. [POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: Marinade that was previously used on raw meat or poultry should not be reused as a sauce for the cooked dish unless it's boiled first. The best option, though, is to reserve a portion of the marinade to use only on the cooked dish.]
It's very simple, it looks good and, you know, the great thing about it is if you don't like it, you can throw the zucchini away.
SIEGEL: No, don't throw it away. Give it away. Somebody will eat it.
That was Jay Bentley, author of the cookbook "Open Range," with his antidote to zucchini fatigue. You can get his recipe and the recipes from food writers Julia della Croce and Katie Workman on the Found Recipes page at npr.org.
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