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Zucchini Spread

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September 1, 2011 by Sara Kreidler

From the looks of this week’s CSA box, the zucchini monsters are slowing down.  I love zucchini but it’s a tricky thing to put up for winter (you can freeze it, but it won’t be firm when you thaw it, and canning it without it turning very mushy is pretty much impossible from what I’ve read).  I had two enormous zucchini weighing over 2.5 pounds each lurking in the fridge at the end of last week and needed a way to use them up.

A bit of googling lead me to a recipe for zucchini spread by Marisa McClellan of Food in Jars fame.  She noted that the recipe freezes well, and that was all I needed to know.

I made two batches (1 enormous 2 3/4 pound zucchini = about 2 cups of spread).  It takes about an hour to cook down the zucchini, but it’s a pretty easy, low maintenance recipe to put together.

I froze all 4 cups of spread that I made, but I had to taste a little bit before I packed it into the freezer.  It was really tasty and I’m eager to thaw it and serve it at a party this fall.  And when I do, I will serve it with pretty, toasted baguette slices.  But on Sunday evening, I was tired and splattered with tomatoes and peaches after a long day of canning, and all I had was a half stale loaf of italian bread, so I cut a slice in half and made do with it.  Don’t judge me.  And please excuse this especially lousy picture — again, I was pretty exhausted.

Adapted, barely, from Marisa McClellan’s recipe for zucchini spread, featured on Philly Homegrown

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 – 3 pounds zucchini
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
  • Toasted baguette slices
  • Grated parmesan

Instructions

  1. Dice zucchini into 1 inch cubes and set aside.  Mince the garlic (I use a garlic press, but you can mince by hand too) and set aside in a separate bowl from the zucchini.
  2. Heat olive oil and butter in a large cast iron skillet over a medium high flame. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly to prevent burning.   Add the zucchini to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and stir well to coat in butter, oil and garlic.  Reduce flame to medium and cook for 20 minutes, stirring often.
  3. After 20 minutes, reduce flame to medium low, add thyme, and stir well. Cook for about 40 more minutes, stirring often.  The zucchini will continue to cook down and the liquid will evaporate off, leaving a spreadable paste.  If you find that it’s not reducing fast enough, it may be that you (like me) didn’t dice your zucchini small enough, in which case I recommend employing the use of a potato masher or meat beater to break up the zucchini a bit.
  4. Smear the warm spread on toasted baguette slices and sprinkle with a little bit of parmesan cheese.  Or, if storing for later use, allow the spread to cool and then transfer to a freezer container and freeze.  Yields about 2 cups of spread.
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