Have I ever told you the traumatizing story of our family’s fateful zucchini summer? For those of you who’ve grown zucchini at home, you’ll totally relate! So let’s quickly whip up these zucchini quesadillas and I’ll tell you the whole thing…
I grew up on 13 acres. Most of the land is covered in olive trees, but my mom and dad turned quite a bit of space into gardens at one point. We grew tomatoes (when the deer didn’t eat them), pumpkins (I won 2nd place in the pumpkin growing contest), some berries, and all sorts of flowers. The most robust crop of them all, however, was the zucchini.
Not only do zucchini plants produce a great number of vegetables (technically a fruit, but let’s ignore that), but they grow to be HUGE. Like bicep and tricep size.
And I don’t mean my arm size. Like, my brothers’ arm sizes and they are big guys. Needless to say, it takes a few meals to get through one or two zucchini.
So my mom got creative. We had zucchini patties (actually quite tasty), zucchini cake, zucchini bread, vegetable marinara sauce, and tons more.
We were all actually pretty tolerant (and even enjoyed) most of the experimenting until one fateful night…
My mom put this weird business on the table. We had to ask before spooning some onto our plates. Y’all. Zapplesauce. Yeah. So imagine apple sauce, but made with shredded zucchini. I’m not sure I even tasted it. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around it…
After that fateful summer, I was suspicious of new things on the table.
And these zucchini quesadillas are my perfect happy place when it comes to any such recipe. Quesadillas come together so quickly and they’re so tasty.
The onions add a bit of crunch with the sauteed zucchini. And the corn salsa (a great way to use up extra cooked corn by the way) is the perfect tasty topping. You can use whatever kind of flour tortilla you like, but the spinach ones makes it all a bit more fun!!
When Should You Pick Zucchini?
Now that I have my own small garden, I understand how a zucchini can get out of hand in size, but I also understand why you shouldn’t let it.
The size of summer squash you see in the market – roughly 6-8″ is the right size. Smaller can be ok, but that is really the happy spot.
If you let the zucchini get too big, you’ll end up with big seeds in the middle that aren’t enjoyable and the delicate flavor will disappear.
I think zucchini just end up getting bigger and watered down. So if you’re straining zucchini shreds for a recipe, you’ll be overwhelmed with all the liquid that separates.
More Summer Produce Recipes
These seasonal summer recipes feature the fruits and vegetables you’ll readily find in summer months.
And be sure to check out these hot weather dinner ideas because I know how hard that struggle can be!
- 1 ear sweet corn grilled or boiled
- 2 green onions sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup diced zucchini
- ¼ cup diced yellow onion
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Pinch ground black pepper
- 2 large (10-in spinach or herb tortillas)
- ¾ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- To make the salsa, cut the kernels off the cob and place in a medium bowl. Stir in the other ingredients and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini and onion and cook until the vegetables being to soften and brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the salt and pepper. Turn off the heat.
- Place one tortilla on a large plate. Spread the cheese evenly over it. Top with the warm vegetables and spread evenly. Place the second tortilla on top.
- Return the same skillet used to cook the vegetables to medium-high heat. Slide the quesadilla into the skillet and cook for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, until browned.
- Slide it onto a cutting board and cut into wedges. Serve warm topped with the corn salsa.