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The First Zucchini of the Summer

July 8th, 2010

I harvested my first zucchini on Tuesday July 6th, it was a ‘Romanesco’ Zucchini from Renee’s Garden. It’s described like this: With traditional style and flavor, high yields and disease resistance, this delicious Italian favorite has creamy sweet flesh, tender striped skin, and long-holding edible blossoms. I must admit, it was very tender and quite delicious and the blossom was still attached when I harvested it at 7 inches long. Last year I harvested my first zucchini on July 16th, so this hot weather has certainly helped the zucchini out this year.

You really can’t beat zucchini for a quick and easy summer side, we enjoy it all summer long. I like to pick them small and slice them or cut them in half and saute them in a skillet, then top with freshly ground pepper, sea salt and a drizzle of good olive oil. We enjoyed this one with venison burgers topped with blue cheese and caramelized onions; a perfect summer meal!

This year I’m growing a few other varieites of zucchini as well, I’m growing ‘Ronde de Nice’ again, Burpee ‘Fordhook’ and ‘Romanesco’. I’ve never had great luck growing it, most people end up with too much zucchini, I only get a few fruits per plant. Hopefully this year will be different. At least I usually have an abundance of squash blossoms, which we’ve been enjoying stuffed with blue cheese, breaded and fried (note: we usually only eat the male blossoms because the female ones will produce fruit).

Are you usually overrun with zucchini in the summer like everyone else? What’s your favorite way to enjoy this vegetable?

28 Comments to “The First Zucchini of the Summer”
  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by mark mile, Susy Morris. Susy Morris said: The First #Zucchini of the Summer #edible #squash #reneesgarden […]

    Reply to Tweets that mention ‘Romanesco’ Zucchini | Chiot’s Run —'s comment

  2. Teresia on July 8, 2010 at 6:24 am

    I am growing black beauty zuchini this year.. it has not been as prolific this year as in the past, but I still get 1 or 2 a day. My family enjoys them battered and deep fried.. not too healthy, but good, and also just what I call flash fried. (put in skillet with a little olive oil, and heat until crisp tender)

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    • Susy on July 8, 2010 at 10:34 am

      I’ve always wanted to grow black beauty zucchini! I wish I could get one or two per day, we’d be eating zucchini at every meal!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  3. Julia on July 8, 2010 at 7:38 am

    This is the first year I’m not growing zucchini… I try every year and have never yielded more than 2 or 3. I donated the space to celery and garlic as well. But this zucchini look beautiful! Maybe I’ll order a packet to try for next year.

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  4. Amy on July 8, 2010 at 8:31 am

    I do seem to have as usual a rather frightening amount of zucchini and yellow crookneck squash……But that’s alright because I enjoy them both so much…..One of my favorite ways to eat zucchini is wrapped in reynolds wrap with a whole host of other vegetables, butter, salt and pepper and grilled until tender……My all time favorite though is zucchini bread……love it… the morning with my coffee or in the afternoon with a cup of tea…..yum…

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  5. Sense of Home on July 8, 2010 at 8:45 am

    Yes, we are usually overrun with zucchini and we don’t even plant it. However, the people sharing zucchini usually let it get really big and then it is only good for shredding and freezing for winter baking.

    I usually buy small zucchini at the Farmer’s Market for sauting or grilling. I don’t have space in my garden to grow my own.


    Reply to Sense of Home's comment

    • Susy on July 8, 2010 at 10:35 am

      I love making relish with the big ones, and I also make pickles with the small ones if I have enough of them.

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  6. Kate on July 8, 2010 at 10:44 am

    I can only hope that we’ll be overrun with zucchini this summer! We have four plants (2 yellow squash, 2 green) and have so far harvested three, with another one hopefully coming today.
    We usually slice and grill them with a little bit of olive oil and black pepper sprinkled on top. The other day, though, I just chopped up a large one and added to a harvest bean salad. (Cannellini and black beans, chopped zucchini, green onion and the last of my chard with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. – basically whatever I had laying around the house and garden!)
    I’ve never heard of pickling them, but it sounds like a great idea. I’ll have to throw some in with my cucumbers and green tomatoes.

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  7. Amy on July 8, 2010 at 11:18 am

    I am normally overrun with zucchini, but this year our garden is so late due to all the cool, rainy weather we had in June that blossoms and fruit are no where in sight.

    Last year in the height of summer I stopped by the post office in town and was intrigued by the paper bag on the bench outside, decorated with old fashioned, scrawly, permanent ink writing on it, “Free.” I had to peek inside. It was a bag full of zucchini, left by one of our town’s elderly residents. Too cute!

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  8. MAYBELLINE on July 8, 2010 at 11:43 am

    I have a killer casserole that uses tomatoes, onions, squash, garlic and cheese. yum!

    You post looks beautiful as always.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

    • Susy on July 8, 2010 at 11:47 am

      MMM, that sounds wonderful.

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  9. Kaytee on July 8, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Zucchini pickles are delicious! My boyfriend’s grandma made them last year, and I’m going to have to make them myself this year. (If my plant ever gets big enough. I planted a tad late this year) Zucchini bread is another favorite. Or slapped on the grill then dipped in some ranch dressing.

    Reply to Kaytee's comment

  10. warren on July 8, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    No zukes here yet but our yellow summer squash are starting!!!

    Reply to warren's comment

  11. Nellie on July 8, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Looks tasty! I’ve really been enjoying using my new roommate’s cast iron pans myself. It’s definitely been a change from how I normally wash pans, though.

    Reply to Nellie's comment

  12. Jackie on July 8, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    I’m growing the same Romanesco variety for the 3rd year in a row. It’s great and produces lot of fruit. Two plants are more than enough for us. We like our zucchini sliced, coated in flour/corn meal and sauteed, then sprinkled with Parmesan.

    Reply to Jackie's comment

  13. Susan on July 8, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    That is the most beautiful squash! I have my first garden in quite some time this year – but my zucchini is shriveling on the vine. Looked it up and all I can find is a lack of nitrogen. I can’t believe that’s the problem, as the bed is built on a nice, thick foundation of llama ‘beans’. I think I will try the Romanesco next year – gorgeous!

    Reply to Susan's comment

    • Susy on July 8, 2010 at 2:25 pm

      Your squash may not be getting pollinating if they’re shriveling when they’re still small. Here’s a post I did about it. You can hand pollinate yourself if you’d like, detailed directions are in the post (complete with photos). /2008/07/14/pollinating-squash/

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  14. Stacy on July 8, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Mmmmm – I just picked my first colander full of them a couple of nights ago, and I’m about to make bread!

    Reply to Stacy's comment

  15. Lee on July 8, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    Great recipe from Cooking Light last year- sizzle some zucchini and shallots. Once done, add feta cheese and chopped mint. So good!

    Reply to Lee's comment

  16. Joshua on July 8, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    I am overrun with yellow squash… not so much zucchini. I usually plant 50/50, but this year, my count must have been off, because I only have two zucchini and four yellow squash. My favorite way to eat zucchini is breaded and fried, but that’s not so healthy and takes a lot of time. Lately, what I do most often is slice them lengthwise, butter and salt them, and put them on a hot grill. Slightly blackened zucchini has an almost meaty flavor, although maybe that’s just my grill imparting the flavors of steaks gone bye.

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  17. Marlyn on July 8, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    Turns out that my pumpkin jungle actually grows zucchini. That is NOT what I planted there. I know. LOL Mislabeled package for sure. We have SO many zucchini coming! I love them, so it’s good. But we’ll have no pumpkins. Dang it.

    Your zucchini is gorgeous! I can’t wait for my crooknecks — they are my faves. Picked my first tomatoes today — two little yellow cherries.

    Reply to Marlyn's comment

  18. Susanne on July 9, 2010 at 4:56 am! :-) Also my first (two). But I harvested them a bit early. I will leave the next one to have a larger fruit.

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  19. Cathy on July 9, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    This year I planted half as much zucchini and yellow squash since it usually goes wild. In previous years I’ve donated all the extra to our food bank. They are thrilled to get fresh vegies of any kind.

    Reply to Cathy's comment

  20. Marlyn on July 10, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    I forgot to mention that one of my favorite things to do with squash, yellow or zuke, is make a ratatouille stye stew. Tomatoes, fresh or a jar of last year’s (I find it adds some richness to use the canned), as a base. Then large slices of squash, peppers, and onions for sure. Garlic if you want. Eggplant if you have it and like it. Sea salt and fresh pepper. Let it simmer for a while to meld and serve with lots of grated parmesan! I just picked three more zukes from the pumpkin plants. I have no idea what variety they are of course!

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  21. Janice on July 11, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Brushed with olive oil and grilled. (ITM)

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  22. Lynn on July 11, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    I usually receive zucchini squash from my neighbor the size of footballs so I decided to grow my own squashes using a blend of summer abundance seeds. So far only the zucchini seem to be thriving. Go figure.

    Reply to Lynn's comment

  23. nic @ nipitinthebud on July 13, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    my favourite for courgette gluts is turning them into a sweet spreadable treat that tastes of lemon curd but with the texture of pureed apples. Well what else can you do when a wet old British summer produces such enormous marrows?

    Reply to nic @ nipitinthebud's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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