File photo: Pick your zucchinis on the small side—five or six inches—and the skin will be tender so there’s no need to peel them.

I don’t know how or why, but my one zucchini plant is going gangbusters. It’s producing more than enough to slice into my salads, or fry up for a fajita or omelet.

While I love using zucchini in my baked goods—such as chocolate zucchini cake, walnut zucchini bread, or lemon zucchini Bundt cake—it is a vegetable at heart, so here are some ways to use the incredibly versatile zucchini.

Zucchini pancakes

1-1/2 cups grated zucchini

1 cup grated red potatoes, skin on

1/4 cup onion, chopped fine

1 Tablespoon fresh chopped parsley

1 whole egg, beaten

2 Tbsps. flour

salt and pepper to taste

oil for frying

Combine all ingredients (except oil). In a shallow frypan, heat just enough oil to coat the bottom to sizzling. Drop a serving spoon size portion of the batter in the pan and flatten out with the spoon. Fry for about 5 minutes on each side or until crisp and brown. Drain on paper towel.  Serve with sour cream if desired.

Zucchini pickles

Makes 2 pints

1 lb. medium zucchini

1 onion

2 Tbsps. salt

cold water

1-1/3 cup distilled white vinegar

2/3 cup sugar

1 tsp, celery seeds

1/2 tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. dry mustard

Wash zucchini but do not peel; slice thin. Slice the onion very thin.  Place zucchini and onion in bowl and sprinkle with the salt, cover with cold water and let stand for one hour. In a sauce pan, combine vinegar, sugar, celery seeds, turmeric and mustard. Heat to boiling, then remove from heat.  Drain the zucchini and onions and add to the vinegar mixture. Bring this mixture back to boiling and pour into sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch headroom. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Zucchini Quiche

Makes 1 nine-inch quiche

1 – 9-inch deep dish unbaked pie shell

1/4 cup diced onion

4 ounces bacon (optional)

4 large eggs

1-1/2 cup half and half

1-1/2 cups thinly sliced zucchini, skin on

8 oz. shredded Swiss cheese

1 Tbsp. herbs (parsley, thyme, savory)

dash of nutmeg

Chop the bacon into small pieces and place in saute pan with the chopped onions. Saute until bacon is crisp. Drain the fat. In separate bowl beat together the eggs and half and half. Add remaining ingredients along with the drained bacon and onions. Pour into unbaked pie shell.  Place on cookie sheet to catch any drippings and bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to one hour.  Test as you would for custard—if knife comes out clean, it is done. Turn off oven to keep quiche warm for up to 1/2 hour. Serves 4.

By Lynn Greene

Wisconsin author Lynn Greene has written "Lynn's Place" for numerous publications over the years in Wisconsin. She now shares her insights and recipes here.