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What to do with a zucchini baseball bat on a hot day?

Recipe: Fresh zucchini slaw makes use of giant squash

Plate with mound of zucchini slaw
Zucchini slaw is garnished with strips of more zucchini. (Photos: Debbie

It’s too hot to cook. And suddenly we have a bounty of zucchini.

In our gardens, all that heat made early squash seem to explode in size (especially if we remembered to water).

What to do with a zucchini baseball bat?

Shred it. Those fast-growing giants haven’t had time to get tough; just remove any seeds. Shredded zucchini adds fiber, flavor and moisture to all sorts of dishes, from zucchini bread to casseroles to salads.

This cool slaw gets its crunch from carrots and its zing from grated onions, complementing the raw zucchini. A creamy dressing ties it all together.

The characteristic that makes shredded zucchini so useful in baking – its high moisture content – can be a drawback in a fresh salad. Pat dry shredded zucchini between two paper towels. For best results, do it twice.

No zucchini baseball bats? This salad works great with small zucchini, too.

Fresh zucchini slaw

Makes 2 servings (recipe can be multiplied as needed)


2 cups raw zucchini, shredded and patted dry

½ cup carrots, shredded

3 tablespoons onion, grated

For dressing:

2 to 3 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 teaspoon red or white wine vinegar

½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 dashes Tabasco

Seasoning salt to taste (about ¼ teaspoon)

½ teaspoon sugar

Large zucchini
Zucchinis quickly grow to baseball-bat size in hot weather.


Shred zucchini, discarding any seeds; no peeling necessary. Once it's shredded, pat the zucchini dry between paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible.

In a bowl, toss together shredded zucchini, carrot and onion.

In a separate bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, seasoning salt and sugar until blended. Drizzle dressing over vegetables and toss lightly until coated.

Serve immediately.


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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Sept. 25

This week's warm break will revive summer crops such as peppers and tomatoes that may still be trying to produce fruit. Pumpkins and winter squash will add weight rapidly.

Be on the lookout for powdery mildew and other fungal diseases that may be enjoying this combination of warm air and moist soil.

* Late September is ideal for sowing a new lawn or re-seeding bare spots.

* Compost annuals and vegetable crops that have finished producing.

* Cultivate and add compost to the soil to replenish its nutrients for fall and winter vegetables and flowers.

* Plant for fall now. The warm soil will get cool-season veggies and flowers off to a fast start.

* Plant onions, lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, bok choy, spinach and potatoes directly into the vegetable beds.

* Transplant lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.

* Sow seeds of California poppies, clarkia and African daisies.

* Transplant cool-weather annuals such as pansies, violas, fairy primroses, calendulas, stocks and snapdragons.

* Divide and replant bulbs, rhizomes and perennials.

* Dig up and divide daylilies as they complete their bloom cycle.

* Divide and transplant peonies that have become overcrowded. Replant with "eyes" about an inch below the soil surface.

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