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Summertime Means Zucchini — In a Multitude of Dishes

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Zucchini: It's here, in a big way. We aren't going to suggest using that overflowing quantity of zucchini from your gardens or market in, say, desserts or your breakfast cereal. But one of the best ways to use it up is to add it to dishes you might not do ordinarily. There are always the conventional uses: zucchini slices on the grill, zucchini bread, ratatouille, squash casserole, vegetable soups and more. A friend who has been supplying us with lean, delicious grass-fed beef this summer recently brought me several packages of meaty soup bones. These will make a rich soup broth, and I know that zucchini will be a large and colorful part of the veggie mix. If you are growing your own zucchini, you already know how plentiful the zucchini flowers are. The more of these you harvest and use, of course, the less squash to contend with. It's easy to wash the blossoms (gently) and drain them, then fill with seasoned cheese, dip in a batter or breading and fry. Zucchini tacos? Maybe, but also dice it, saute it quickly and add to a Tex-Mex-style picadillo, instead of, or in place of potatoes. Slice it into salad, cut in small cubes, and add to a cold, zingy gazpacho, slice into a Cobb or Chop salad, add to a veggie sandwich, with sliced tomatoes, avocados and rings of red onion. Shred it, and make coleslaw, too. While this vegetable is generally available year round, it's always one of the most dependable to grow in your garden -- hence, the bounty, plus the enjoyment of picking your own. Here are three recipes that offer other uses: Southwestern Squash Saute Zucchini, Basil and Ricotta Salata Pasta Vegetable Ragoût with Cannellini Beans and Pesto  
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