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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)

Ingredients:

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.

Instructions:


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 Feb. 5

Make the most of sunny days and get winter tasks done:

* This is the last chance to spray fruit trees before they bloom. Treat peach and nectarine trees with copper-based fungicide. Spray apricot trees at bud swell to prevent brown rot. Apply horticultural oil to control scale, mites and aphids on fruit trees soon after a rain. But remember: Oils need at least 24 hours to dry to be effective. Don’t spray during foggy weather or when rain is forecast.

* Feed spring-blooming shrubs and fall-planted perennials with slow-release fertilizer. Feed mature trees and shrubs after spring growth starts.

* Finish pruning roses and deciduous trees.

* Remove aphids from blooming bulbs with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap.

* Fertilize strawberries and asparagus.

* Transplant or direct-seed several flowers, including snapdragon, candytuft, lilies, astilbe, larkspur, Shasta and painted daisies, stocks, bleeding heart and coral bells.

* In the vegetable garden, plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers, and strawberry and rhubarb roots.

* Transplant cabbage and its close cousins – broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts – as well as lettuce (both loose leaf and head).

* Plant artichokes, asparagus and horseradish from root divisions.

* Plant potatoes from tubers and onions from sets (small bulbs). The onions will sprout quickly and can be used as green onions in March.

* From seed, plant beets, chard, lettuce, mustard, peas, radishes and turnips.

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