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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 Arrington)

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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Garden Checklist for week of April 21

This week there’s plenty to keep gardeners busy. With no rain in the immediate forecast, remember to irrigate any new transplants.

* Weed, weed, weed! Get them before they flower and go to seed.

* April is the last chance to plant citrus trees such as dwarf orange, lemon and kumquat. These trees also look good in landscaping and provide fresh fruit in winter.

* Smell orange blossoms? Feed citrus trees with a low dose of balanced fertilizer (such as 10-10-10) during bloom to help set fruit. Keep an eye out for ants.

* Apply slow-release fertilizer to the lawn.

* Thoroughly clean debris from the bottom of outdoor ponds or fountains.

* Spring brings a flush of rapid growth, and that means your garden is really hungry. Feed shrubs and trees with a slow-release fertilizer. Or mulch with a 1-inch layer of compost.

* Azaleas and camellias looking a little yellow? If leaves are turning yellow between the veins, give them a boost with chelated iron.

* Trim dead flowers but not leaves from spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils and tulips. Those leaves gather energy to create next year's flowers. Also, give the bulbs a fertilizer boost after bloom.

* Pinch chrysanthemums back to 12 inches for fall flowers. Cut old stems to the ground.

* Mulch around plants to conserve moisture and control weeds.

* From seed, plant beans, beets, cantaloupes, carrots, corn, cucumbers, melons, radishes and squash.

* Plant onion sets.

* In the flower garden, plant seeds for asters, cosmos, celosia, marigolds, salvia, sunflowers and zinnias.

* Transplant petunias, zinnias, geraniums and other summer bloomers.

* Plant perennials and dahlia tubers for summer bloom.

* Mid to late April is about the last chance to plant summer bulbs, such as gladiolus and tuberous begonias.

* Transplant lettuce seedlings. Choose varieties that mature quickly such as loose leaf.

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