Friday, July 10, 2009

Freezing Zucchini and Summer Squash

On the off chance that anyone ends up with an overabundance of zucchini... And, of course, even if you don't grow it, you can buy extra at the farmers market or stash away some of what comes in your CSA box for use later in the winter. Frozen zucchini is pretty versatile and can be tossed into a variety of different dishes. You can do this with other types of summer squash as well; ones without large seeds in the center do best.

1. Grated: best for baking, though also not bad with pasta. Grate the zucchini, then steam it for a minute or two and promptly cool. Pack into freezer bags or containers in amounts you will want to use later (e.g. 1 cup for zucchini bread).

2. Sliced: slice 1/4-inch thick, in rounds or half- or quarter-rounds. Pack directly into freezer bags without blanching, in amounts you will want at one shot later (e.g. for a stir-fry or stew). If you want to bread and fry zucchini later, tray freeze it first to ensure that it will not stick together.

You can also saute zucchini before freezing and then just thaw, warm, and serve, or add to pasta dishes or pizza or the like. Or take it one step further and saute with other vegetables such as onions, garlic, or tomatoes, and freeze the mixture.


Anonymous said...

I have to disagree with you say that "The slices shouldn't stick together too badly because zucchini is not that wet a vegetable". When you slice zucchini can see the water come to the surface of the cut side. Possibily if you freeze the slices on a rack and then put them in a freezer bag it might be better.

Meggin said...

Well, zucchini is a lot less wet than, say, sliced tomatoes. More in line with something like peppers, which I have found freeze just fine with fairly minimal sticking. But I am experimenting with all this stuff myself, so I encourage readers to comment with their own experiences and advice! Certainly if you want no sticking at all, you should tray freeze first.