The days of the triffid

We have one zucchini plant. Just the one.

It’s a trombone zucchini, a triffid-like climber more than capable of taking over an entire garden bed or wall. It takes a while to get going, but once it does it becomes a force to be reckoned with. One of this variety’s advantages is that – unlike other zucchinis – there are no seeds, apart from within a small bulb at one end.

We took the first few while they were still small and probably at their best, but meanwhile others were growing massive, seeming to grow by about 50 per cent every day we didn’t pick them.

We have now eaten zucchini at every meal we’ve had at home for the past couple of weeks, and we’ve just picked one that will last us at least the next week, with more coming rapidly. A couple that edged over the fence have been nicked by neighbours, but I can’t find it in me to worry too much. It’s enough to worry about the ones we still have.

Eating that much zucchini can be a challenge. So here is a selection of dishes from the last – single – zucchini we harvested.

Note: I’ve based all of these on lengths of trombone zucchini – but any zucchini works just as well.

Zucchini ribbons

Layers of zucchini in the frypan.

The trombone variety is ideally suited to making ribbons as there are no seeds for most of the length.If you’re using a standard zucchini, work around the edges and discard the seedy centre. 

• I took a section of about 25cm long (about 10 inches). I used a potato peeler to take full length slices, though you could also use a mandoline.

• Heat a large frypan with butter. Place the ribbons closely across the base, crossing with another layer on top. You’ll need to cook them in a couple of batches.

• Add lemon zest and fresh tarragon, though a range of other fresh herbs would also work.

• After a few minutes, flip the lot over. Flip again as necessary.

Serve in a tumble.

Grilled zucchini

Rounds of zucchini off the griddle pan.

This is barely a recipe, it’s so simple and it remains one of my favourite ways to eat zucchini – any variety at all. 

• Slice the zucchini thickly, either across the width or length.

• Cook on a hot griddle pan and flip once it has good scorch marks across.

Zucchini bake

This is a quick and easy backup plan for a midweek meal. Quantities given would serve 2. Adjust as necessary. 

• Finely slice a 35cm section of zucchini and squeeze out excess water.

• Finely slice two medium carrots. NOTE: You can also grate both, if that’s your preference

• Add some finely chopped spring onion or brown onion.

• Add fresh herbs – thyme and chives are great, and salt and pepper

• Mix together with about half a cup of cheese – a mix of tasty, parmesan, cheddar or whatever your preference is. Goat cheese or feta also works well.

• Add 5 beaten eggs.

You can put this is a tin or a pie pan and bake in the oven. You can also cook it in a wide frypan, though I would probably then also finish it off under a grill.

Layer on some slices of cheese o top for extra lovely toasty colour.

Zucchini and tuna patties

This a quick and delicious summer meal for two. 

• I took a section of about 35cm long (just over a foot in the old language) of the zucchini and grated it.

• Add that to a tin of tuna, drained (if you use flaked cooked fish, just squeeze the zucchini!)

• Mix and squeeze hard to remove any excess liquid.

• Add about half a cup of fresh breadcrumbs

• Add half an onion, finely chopped

• Add some herbs of your choice (optional) – mint, basil, coriander, thyme

• Add salt and pepper.

• Mix in two eggs.

Form into small patty shapes and fry in oil. They might not feel that secure, but if you leave them alone, they firm up ok and will stay in shape.

Small and large zucchinis on the vine.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s