Chef Bebenroth’s Secret to Surviving Zucchini Season

Just admit it. You can’t handle the zucchini. But don’t worry; you’re not the only one. Even established farmers and crafty cooks can be overwhelmed by this voluminous veggie that presents us with a gift that keeps on giving.

Just last week, the chefs at Spice Kitchen + Bar ordered 60 pounds of zucchini from Spice Acres and they received 200+ pounds. in return. Taking it on as a professional challenge, the menu featured zucchini ten ways, spotlighting ratatouille, zuke pasta (or “zoodles” as they’re affectionately known), stuffed zukes, and, of course, breads and muffins. Side dishes featured zuke sauteé with curious herb combinations. Catering chef James Redford got creative with Zucchini Kraut that’s still fermenting in the basement.

As we enter into zucchini season, remember the rules as you grow:

Step one: Pick it two weeks ago.

Step two: Have a plan.

Searching for ideas? Try this recipe or stop by Spice Kitchen + Bar for an unconventional taste of an all-too-common favorite.


Grilled Zucchini + Corn

Serves six sides

This popular recipe has been a Spice of Life Catering Co. staple for almost a decade. People love it. You will too.

Make a paste with three cloves of chopped garlic, 1.5 tsp. of salt, and chili flakes (to taste) by smashing all three together with the side of your chef’s knife, or using a mortar and pestle. Combine paste in a large bowl with 1/8 cup of olive oil.

Split three mid-size zukes in half vertically, sprinkle with salt, and drizzle with olive oil. Place, flat-side down on a hot grill. (At Spice, we prefer hardwood, but you can do what you want). Flip to skin side when marks develop, 3-5 minutes. Let skins blister. Remove from the grill and place in your oil bowl. Toss to combine while still hot . Let sit for about ten minutes so the heat from the zukes cook the garlic.

Shuck four ears of corn; place on grill until blistered on each side. Remove corn; set to cool.

When zukes are cool enough to handle remove from bowl and chop into big chunks. Put them back into your oil bowl and toss with 10-12 leaves of fresh basil. Cut the corn off the cob and combine with zucchini. Season with salt & pepper as needed.