by Katrina Archibad, Executive Sous Chef, 10 Acres Restaurant | photo by Janis Jean Photography –
Zucchini is part of the summer squash family. At 10 Acres, we harvest around 1,000lbs of both the fruit and the flowers to use in our restaurants. We love to showcase our zucchini because it pairs so well with so many fresh ingredients, from herbs to seafood, pork and more!
In the summer, it’s easy to find locally-grown zucchini on the Saanich Peninsula both at farm stands and in store. A locally-grown zucchini will change your mind if you think they are just an average vegetable! They have sweet tender skin, a creamy texture when cooked, and the right amount of bitterness. With this delicate taste it’s important to give your zucchini lots of supporting flavours; be sure to use salt and pepper as that alone will make a world of difference!
Shrimp-Filled Zucchini Boats (4 boats / serves 2)
6 oz hand peeled baby shrimp
1/4 cup Marie Rose Sauce (store bought or make your own)
2 tbsp jarred roasted or marinated peppers, 1/4” chop
2 green onions, sliced thinly
8 cherry tomatoes, cut in half (approx. 1/2 cup)
2 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1/3 cup grated gruyère or parmesan cheese
Marie Rose Sauce (or purchase in store)
2 tbsp cocktail sauce
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
squeeze of lemon juice, to taste
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 jalapeno, finely chopped (blend together well)
- Make Marie Rose sauce if you are making it from scratch.
- Mix your shrimp meat with the Marie Rose sauce, green onions, peppers, tomatoes, salt and pepper
- Cut zucchinis in half lengthwise. IF you notice large seeds, scoop out a little of the centre (otherwise no need for this step). Oil very lightly, salt and pepper well on each side, and roast your zucchini in the oven at 450° or grill on high. They should be charred and browning in some spots, roughly 8 minutes. The zucchinis should still hold their shape and be slightly firm.
- If they’re not already, place the 4 semi-cooked pieces on a baking sheet or dish. Divide the shrimp mix on top of all 4 pieces, top with the cheese and place back into the oven or onto the grill on a baking sheet. Cook until cheese is well melted, about 5-8 minutes.
- Remove from the tray carefully as this is a balancing act, and serve!
Zucchini Dip (makes 1L)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium zucchini, sliced into strips
6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 tbsp lime juice
zest of two limes
1/2 a large avocado
5 tsp salt + more to adjust at the end
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup fresh herbs: mint, dill, cilantro – use a mix or something you
already have; chop small; rough pieces are okay!
1 tsp paprika
- Cut zucchini into strips lengthwise, 3 to 4 pieces per zucchini, and then brush with a little olive oil. Grill on medium heat until charred – the darker and more roasted the better. You can also place on a baking sheet in the oven and roast at 375° until the strips are tender but crispy and coloured.
- Next wrap in aluminium foil for 10 minutes to let them steam themselves in the foil and get more tender.
- Place the zucchini and the rest of the ingredients in a food processor, or you can use a blender or immersion blender; the consistency of your dip will vary slightly depending on what tool is available for you to use.
- Puree until a smooth spread is formed, then allow to cool.
- Taste and add more salt if needed to bring out the flavours. Serve with crackers, veggies, or even beside your favourite fish dish!
Zucchini, Basil and JalapeÑo Soup (2 servings)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion or
1/2 medium onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 large zucchinis, 1” x 1” chop
1 1/4 cups chicken stock, other broth or water
black pepper to taste
1 tsp soy sauce
75g basil (1 large bunch), sliced roughly
1 jalapeño with seeds, roughly chopped – be sure to wash your hands after!
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/2 tsp cayenne
- Warm the oil in your pot over medium heat, then add onion and cook until it begins to brown (about eight minutes).
- Add in the garlic, jalapeno and salt and cook until the garlic starts to turn golden and the pot smells fragrant.
- Add the zucchini and broth and bring your pot to a boil. Once boiling, turn down to low and let simmer for 10 minutes (until zucchini pieces are soft).
- Add cream cheese and stir; remove pot from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Add a little bit of black pepper, the basil and soy sauce and blend your soup in a blender or using an immersion blender. Blend until smooth and velvety. Taste your soup, add salt if needed and serve with a scoop of tzatziki on top if desired.