It’s that time of year when, as country folklore goes, you’re likely to find your front seat filled with zucchini if you leave your car unlocked.  If you grow your own, you’re likely to be somewhat desperate about what to do with all the stuff.

This year I grew two types of standard green zucchini (Ambassador and Dark Green), two kinds of yellow squash (golden zucchini and lemon squash), and a quite amazing zucchini that was new for me: Zucchini Rampicante (also known as Tromboncino).  Zucchni Rampicante is the best-tasting, fastest growing and most prolific squash I’ve ever seen.  It curls around in all sorts of ways, but often looks like a swan to us.  It’s hard to find in markets, but it’s amazingly easy to grow–just be prepared for it to spread………..

Sautéing squash with garlic, onion, and other vegetables is always a good option, as is of course zucchini bread, which freezes well.    Below, however, I’m providing two  less-familiar ways to use up excess squash and at the same time eat very well:

Yellow Squash Pancakes are quick and easy to make and are nutritious and tasty.  They also freeze very well.

Zucchini Timbale can be a main dish or a vegetable side dish and always gets rave reviews.  It is excellent leftover cold as well.

click below for the recipes


Yellow Squash Pancakes

4 cups grated yellow squash (food processor shredder/grater blade works well)
2 medium onions, chopped
½ cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cornmeal
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
several grinds of black pepper
2 cups grated swiss cheese (include some parmesan or romano if you have it)
3-4 eggs, beaten lightly

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, starting with 3 eggs.  If mixture is too thick and dry, add a fourth egg.  The mixture should not be runny.

Fry pancakes in roughly equal amounts of olive oil and butter, patting down the pancakes with a spatula or spoon lightly as you make them.  Brown on both sides.  Transfer to a platter.

For toppings, consider yoghurt with minced garlic; salsa; or condiments such as cranberry pepper jelly (from Whole Foods).  Or whatever else meets your fancy.

Serves four people (about 12 pancakes).  For two, either halve the recipe or else plan to freeze away the leftovers—they freeze very well.

Zucchini Timbale

(adapted and simplified from a recipe by Julia Child,
Mastering the Art of French Cooking, vol. 2)


Prepare the zucchini mixture:

2-2 ½ lbs. grated zucchini (6-7 cups)
1 tablespoon Kosher/Sea coarse salt
1 large onion, minced (about 2 cups)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil

Toss coarse salt and grated zucchini (6-7 cups)  in a colander.  Let drain for about 15 minutes.

Chop and saute onions with butter and olive oil in a large skillet.  Once onions are translucent, squeeze by hand the zucchini in the colander to remove excess liquid and toss each handful into the skillet.  Blend together with the onions and cook over medium heat for another 8 minutes or so, stirring frequently.

Prepare the custard mixture:


8 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup cream or half and half
1  1/2 cups of grated swiss and parmesan cheese
Several grindings of black pepper

Lightly whisk the eggs in a medium-large bowl, then add cream and cheese.  Use the whisk to combine.

Now add the zucchini-onion mixture in large spoonfuls.  The mixture can still be rather warm, as long as you start with small amounts to warm up the egg mixture gradually.

Add black pepper and blend in.  (The coarse salt remaining in the zucchini mixture will probably suffice, but you may add more salt at this stage if you wish.)



Add custard-zucchini mixture to buttered round souffle-type baking dish,  about 4 inches high.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 45 minutes or so.  A knife or skewer should come out clean.  If in doubt, it is better to cook it a bit more rather than less.

The timbale will have risen rather like a soufflé and is nice to show off when it comes out of the oven.  It will fall somewhat, but still look attractive and taste delicious!  Serve directly from the baking dish.