Friday, August 7, 2009

Leave a Zucchini on Your Neighbor's Porch Day

Zucchini Lying on a Porch photo by T Opdycke

It’s all about zucchini on garden blogs across the information highway. I happen to like summer squashes and make delicious side dishes with yellow crookneck or straight squash and zucchini. The great thing about zucchini is how many ways can you use the largesse from the garden. Boiled, broiled, roasted, toasted, chilled, grilled, in a casserole. Shred it, fry it, use it, never buy it. One year my garden provided so much zucchini it was coming out my ears. I made zucchini bread, spicy and chocolate, and froze extra loaves. The long green vegetable became boats with a mixture of rice, ground beef, and cheese filling it up. I went so far as to make zucchini burgers. After shredding a large zucchini, add egg, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper to taste. Patty the mixture and fry it as you would a burger patty. My family was not thrilled….to say the least. Even on a bun with ketchup, zucchini burgers just didn’t quite tickle the taste buds in a good way. I tossed out the recipe, but who knows you may be able to come up with a workable combination for zucchini burgers.

Saturday, August 8th has been proclaimed, “Leave a zucchini on your neighbor’s porch Day.” Want more information? Check out Bloggers Unite for the objectives and more information. Why not lay a recipe under the zucchini you place on your neighbor's porch giving neighbors a new way to enjoy the excess bounty of your garden.

I found the following recipe in Early American Life magazine, years ago and it has become one of my family’s favorite side dishes.

Gratin of Summer Squash

2 pounds of yellow summer squash, zucchini, or a mix of the two
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon sugar
½ cup onion, chopped coarsely (I cut a whole onion in half and then slice leaving large slivers of onion)
¼ cup butter, softened
1 ¼ cups sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup sour cream
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup dry white wine (optional)
Salt & Pepper to taste

1 cup fresh bread crumbs
3 tablespoons melted butter

Place sliced squash in a double boiler top or steamer. Add the onion and sprinkle with salt and sugar. Steam vegetables until tender. Put steamed vegetables into an 11-inch gratin or casserole dish, add butter, and mash slightly with a fork. To the vegetables and butter, add cheddar cheese, Parmesan, sour cream, and wine. Season with pepper and stir until mixed. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter and toss with fresh bread crumbs. Spread the buttered crumbs evenly over the squash mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. The casserole should bubbly hot and the top a golden brown. This is an elegant side dish that can be mixed together earlier in the day and then baked just in time for dinner.

Get out there...share your zucchini and share a recipe.


  1. What a great idea!! I'm going to do this tomorrow! It will be August 9...but I don't think my neighbors will care. LOL

    Thanks for inspiring me to do something nice for others. Sometimes life get so busy it's good to be reminded!!

    Hope your having a great summer!


  2. I'm glad I inspired you to share your zucchini. I've had good neighbors who shared this year, since I have none of my own. Perhaps next year I'll grow summer squash. It has been a good summer and it's hard to believe it's coming to a close.

    Thanks for your kind words and thoughts.

  3. What a great idea -- I'll be planting zucchini this week. If I'm successful, my neighbors are sure to find a surprise at their door!


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