July 19, 2017

Are you in a veggie funk? It’s not uncommon for people to get into a rhythm where they prepare certain items in the same fashion almost every time they cook. For culinary arts students, this phenomenon is especially troubling. Pull yourself from your daze by trying these three ways to bring a little more flavor and technique to one of our favorite types of squash: zucchini!

1. Try a little stuffing

The last thing you want is for zucchini to taste bland, so herbs and spices are the perfect, logical addition. The Los Angeles Times shared a recipe for a baked version of the vegetable with mint and garlic stuffing that is to die for. To begin, cut zucchini into halves lengthwise and arrange them face down on a wooden cutting board while the oven heats to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

As the excess water drains from the squash, prepare a mixture of freshly chopped parsley, mint, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and bread crumbs. Move the zucchini to a baking dish and situate them cut-side up, adding the stuffing mix as well as a drizzle of olive oil. Bake for 30 minutes under tin foil, then remove the covering and bake for another 10 to 20 minutes or until the top is crispy.

2. Let marinade soak in

A frequent way to cook zucchini is to let them sit in marinade for hours before placing them on the grill and serving the veggie warm or hot. Yet, this common technique may result in a loss of flavor. Try this tactic instead: Let your cooked zucchini sit out for a bit before eating. The taste of the squash and marinade meld together much better when the former item is no longer sizzling, according to Food52.

Cook your halved zucchini until it’s tender, then add a marinade of olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, basil and red wine vinegar. Set it to the side and serve when the rest of your meal is ready. Room temperature squash tastes just as good, especially when the flavor truly has time to set it.

3. Serve as a chip

Veggie chips are all the rage these days, and zucchini shouldn’t be left out of the picture. Although they taste fried, these creations are baked in the oven – making them a healthy snack option for culinary arts students. Once the zucchini has been sliced into thin pieces, create a mixture that combines grated Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, seasoned salt, ground black pepper and garlic powder, according to a recipe from Health magazine.

Dunk the zucchini slices in fat-free milk to help the bread crumb layer stick and bake at 425 degrees until browned. Everyone likes their chips prepared differently, so make them as crunchy as you’d like by adding more baking time.

No more boring zucchini. Culinary arts students should try these techniques to add flavor and originality to this veggie.