Spice up squash: Mark Bittman's BBQ'd zucchini, more

It's zucchini season! From farmers markets to grocery aisles — it seems that this vegetable can be found everywhere. Here, Mark Bittman shares delicious and creative ways to cook it on the grill, with pasta and more. Try his recipes for barbecued zucchini, zucchini bread and more.

Barbecued zucchini

Ingredients

    • 1 1/2 pounds zucchini
    • 1/2 cups ketchup
    • 2 tablespoons dry red wine or water
    • 1 tablespoon wine or rice vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire or soy sauce
    • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
    • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • Parsley, for garnish

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Heat a charcoal or gas grill; the fire should be medium-low, and the rack about 4 inches from the heat.Stir the ketchup, red wine or water, wine or rice vinegar, Worcestershire or soy sauce, ground mustard, brown sugar, and chili powder into a paste; season with salt and pepper.Cut zucchini into quarters lengthwise, and then once crosswise, so they are in 3-inch wedges. Brush with barbeque sauce and grill. Continue to baste zucchini as it cooks, turning once, until nicely browned and tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Garnish with parsley.

Crostini with Zucchini, Ricotta and Mint

Ingredients

    • 1 pound zucchini
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • Juice of one lemon
    • 1 cup ricotta
    • Toasted crostini, bruschetta, or any crusty bread
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • Mint, for garnish

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Julienne the zucchini and put it in a bowl. Whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice, and toss with the zucchini and ricotta. Serve on toasted, crusty bread, season with salt and pepper, and garnish with mint.

Pasta with Sausage and Zucchini

Ingredients

    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 8 ounces Italian sausage, sliced
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more to taste
    • 1 1/2 pounds zucchini, cubed
    • 1 pound cooked pasta
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • Parsley, for garnish

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Cook the garlic and Italian sausage in olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Remove from the skillet and cook the zucchini until tender and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Return the sausage along with the cooked pasta, salt and pepper, and toss. Garnish with parsley and olive oil.

Zucchini bread

Ingredients

    • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, plus butter for the pan
    • 11/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 11/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 packed cup grated zucchini
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.Mix the dry ingredients together. With a hand mixer or a whisk or in the food processor, cream the butter and beat in the eggs, then stir in the zucchini. Stir this mixture into the dry ingredients just enough to combine. Gently stir in the vanilla and nuts.Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until nicely browned. A toothpick inserted into the center of the bread will come out fairly clean, but because of the zucchinis this bread will remain moister than most. Do not overcook. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes before removing from the pan.

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