Zucchini Tears

Before you start shedding tears over what to do with your bounty of produce (mainly zucchini and squash week after week), I wanted to share this picture (below) and some culinary inspiration before you start stuffing your freezers with zucchini this early in the season.  Remember, you have to leave room in your freezer for those late-season tomatoes and peppers!!!

Although I don’t know the plant physiology details…zucchini tends to shed tears when freshly sliced.

First off are some tips for fried, grilled or sauteed zucchini plus Zucchini Pasta (with zucchini used as ‘noodles’ instead of wheat pasta) and Zucchini Latke recipes…because anything fried is delicious!

Fried Zucchini: Cut the zucchini into 3″-long spears, dip in an egg wash, roll in the breader and deep fry at 350 degrees until golden brown.

Grilled Zucchini: Cut the zucchini into ¼” thick ribbons.  Drizzle with olive oil then season with salt, pepper and garlic.  Grill over medium-high heat for about 2-3 minutes on each side.

Sautéed Zucchini: Cut zucchini into ¼” thick slices.  Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and a diced onion; sauté 5 minutes.  Add some fresh minced garlic, salt and pepper and continue to sauté for about 3 additional minutes.

Zucchini Pasta (serves 2)

from “Whole Living”, a Martha Stewart Publication, August 2011 magazine.

8 oz cherry tomatoes, sliced

1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

1/4 cup chopped raw walnuts

2 Tbsp torn fresh basil, plus leaves for garnish

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

Sea salt

1 zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise, then sliced into 1/4-inch-long strips.

In a bowl, combine tomatoes, garlic, walnuts, basil and oil.  Season with salt.  Let stand 20 minutes.  Toss with zucchini and garnish with basil.

Cheesy Zucchini Latkes

Go to the original site for more pictures and explanation:



  • 1 pound zucchini
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 cup panko crumbs (can also use homemade or dried, unseasoned bread crumbs)
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 or 2 splashes hot sauce (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • olive oil for frying
  • Hot red pepper jelly for topping
  • Sour cream or crème fraiche for topping


  1. Coarsely grate zucchini in a food processor or with a box grater.  Do the same with the onion.  Gather zucchini and onion in a clean dish towel and squeeze all of the excess moisture out.
  2. Transfer the zucchini and onion to a large mixing bowl.  Add the panko, cheese, eggs, lemon juice, hot sauce, salt and pepper.  Mix well to combine.   If the mixture is too wet, add a little more panko.  If it looks too dry, add more egg. You want the latkes to hold together loosely without falling apart when you fry them.
  3. Heat the butter and oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  It should come up about 1/4-inch in the pan. Carefully drop 2-inch blobs of zucchini batter into the hot oil, gently flattening them out into patties.  Cook the patties over medium heat until golden brown on the bottom, about 2-3 minutes.  Flip and continue to cook on the other side until golden brown, another 2-3 minutes.  Don’t crowd the patties.  Fry them in batches.
  4. Remove cooked latkes from the skillet with a slotted spatula and set on a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
  5. Serve topped with a small dollop of red pepper jelly, crème fraiche or the topping of your choice.

Makes approximately 12 two-inch latkes.


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