Farmers' Kitchen—Zucchini Gone Wild

Bonnie and Kate and the zucchini
Bonnie and Kate and the zucchini

Written By

Oliver Levis

Written on

August 22 , 2014

Not many people would say zucchini is their favorite vegetable, but it’s an easy one to grow and it probably puts out more pounds of edible matter than any other plant in the garden. That’s all well and good early in the season, but inevitably the zucchini runs away from the gardener. First you miss one or two, and before long you’re putting those enormous kielbasas anywhere they’ll fit.

At Earth Sky Time Farm in Manchester, we grow lots of zucchini for our CSA and to sell at farmers’ markets. We try to harvest them every other day and we try to pick them at roughly 8 inches long, but life here can be a little unpredictable with the bakery, the kids, the interns, the broken tractors, the potato beetles, the all-night dance parties…whatever. So the zucchinis often get too big.

But, we do have a solution for this abundance: EGGPLANT! Say what? Well, in many ways zucchinis are a lot like eggplants: Both vegetables have colorful skin and mild white flesh, both are mostly water, both need to be cooked, and both are good fried or grilled. But unlike zucchini, eggplants are a long season crop and you only get a few fruits per plant. Since there are so many nice things to make with eggplant, we started substituting zucchini in our favorite eggplant recipes—and what do you know: it works.

Earth Sky Time is a farming community built around food, and at the center of it all is our oven—a 40,000-pound, Spanish, wood-fired bread oven called a Llopis. Because it’s always hot, we cook everything in it.

For our “Mama Ganoush” we start by roasting all of the overgrown zucchini we can rustle up. We roll them in a little olive oil and roast them in deep pans—in other words, we forget about them in the big oven for a couple of hours. We wait until they are black and burnt. Then we take them out and cool them. We then purée them (skin on) in a food processor with sunflower seeds, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, tahini, sea salt, and smoked paprika.

Keep the mixture cold and enjoy this summer treat. It’s up to you if you want to tell your friends that it’s not made with eggplant.

Earth Sky Time is a small certified organic farm and wood-fired bakery in Manchester. We are a community of friends and family working together to feed our corner of the planet some of the best food around. We offer CSA shares and participate in four weekly farmers’ markets: Manchester, Dorset, Londonderry, and Ludlow. We also produce VT Goldburgers (carrot-curry-ginger-almond-flax burgers) and Hoomoos Za’atar, both available at food co-ops and stores throughout the region (see our website for details). We also host Farm Night vegetarian dinners with live music and dancing every Wednesday. For more info visit earthskytime.com or call 802-384-1400.

About the Author

Oliver Levis

Oliver Levis

Bonnie and Oliver Levis are part of an amazing community of friends, interns, CSA members, and local eaters. Earth Sky Time is a small certified organic farm and wood-fired bakery in Manchester. We are a community of friends and family working together to feed our corner of the planet some of the best food around. We offer CSA shares and participate in four weekly farmers’ markets: Manchester, Dorset, Londonderry, and Ludlow. We also produce VT Goldburgers (carrot-curry-ginger-almond-flax burgers) and Hoomoos Za’atar, both available at food co-ops and stores throughout the region (see our website for details). We also host Farm Night vegetarian dinners with live music and dancing every Wednesday. For more info visit earthskytime.com or call 802-384-1400.

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