Summer is the best season to take advantage of zucchini! While it’s available year-round, this green veggie is currently out in full force, and you have plenty of options for how to eat it: raw, grilled, roasted, in muffins, on pizza, and of course, as trendy zoodles. Rich in water and fiber, zucchini is known to promote healthy digestion, and its generous vitamin C content helps prevent certain diseases. Low in calories, zucchini can also help you reach your weight loss goals.
If your backyard garden is overflowing with zucchini, try one of these delicious recipes from Chattanooga locals!
photography by rich smith
Bridgeman’s Chophouse’s Raw Marinated Zucchini
with Coconut Labneh & Pistachio Gremolata
By Executive Chef Dao Le | Serves 6
For the coconut labneh:
1 fresh young coconut
2 cups low-fat Greek yogurt
Kosher salt, to taste
For the zucchini marinade:
3 large zucchini
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
For the pistachio gremolata:
1/4 cup shelled
1 lemon (using zest and 1 tsp. lemon juice)
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. Italian parsley, finely chopped
1 sprig of fresh mint leaves, for garnish
- Remove fresh coconut meat from the shell and set aside, saving the coconut water. In a cheesecloth, add Greek yogurt and let strain overnight in a strainer to remove the liquid.
- In a blender, combine strained yogurt with 1/2 cup of coconut meat and blend until smooth. Add kosher salt to taste. The texture should be creamy and slightly thick. (For thinner labneh, use reserved coconut water.)
- Thinly slice zucchini with a mandoline on all four sides until you reach the center – leave the center and seeds out. Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Marinate zucchini for at least an hour in the refrigerator.
- In a dry pan, slightly toast pistachios. Set aside and allow to cool. Coarsely chop pistachios and place in a bowl. Add the zest of one lemon, lemon juice, olive oil, and chopped parsley. The mixture should be slightly wet.
- Plate the coconut labneh, then top with the marinated zucchini. Garnish with pistachio gremolata and mint leaves.
Hannah Wright’s Summertime Zucchini Fritters
1-1.5 lbs. zucchini
Sea salt, to taste
1 egg, beaten
1/2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1/4 cup flour (all purpose or gluten-free blend)
Butter and olive oil, for frying
Garlic powder, to taste
Red pepper flakes, to taste
2-3 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
Hannah Wright, of Chattanooga, loves cooking nutritious food that tastes good! She believes that food is medicine and is pursing a master’s degree in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine.
- Grate zucchini using a large cheese grater. Place in a colander over the sink or large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and toss to combine. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, or until most of the liquid has drained from the zucchini. Use your hands to squeeze out the remaining liquid.
- In a bowl, combine zucchini, beaten egg, chopped parsley, and optional additions if using. Mix well. Add in flour slowly, stirring to combine. You will have a thick batter. If it seems thin, add a little more flour.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add desired amount of butter and olive oil to cook the batter. Using a spoon, drop batter into 3- or 4-inch circles. Cook until lightly browned, then flip and brown the other side. Transfer to a plate once cooked.
- Serve with sour cream, hot sauce, or fresh baby greens. Add salt to taste if needed.