There comes a point every summer when the garden just becomes a giant zucchini patch. Even though you go out everyday and harvest them there is always one hidden away; underneath the leaves that suddenly becomes the size of a small child. What to do with all that zucchini? There is only so much you can eat everyday. Only so many loaves of zucchini bread that you can bake. I feel horrible about composting zucchini, Claire calls this "Garden Guilt." But a few years ago I discovered making zucchini tots and since then I have actually doubled the number of zucchini plants we have just so I can make more tots.
Zucchini tots are super easy to make and such a great way to use up not only zucchini but also whatever else you have in the garden. This is not a traditional recipe with amounts and measurements; just use what you have and adjust accordingly. The super important part about making these tots is that you really need to spice and season these bad boys up. Whatever amount of seasoning you think is enough add some more. Zucchinis are like beans: the more seasoning you add the better. These tots are even better frozen and then re-baked. Seriously, make a ton of these and freeze bags and bags of them. Then in the winter you can make an easy and delicious dinner with just an omelet and these tots and the best part is how many veggies you eat!!
Some amount of zucchini grated. I use all the big ones. It the center of them is really blown out and seeded then just cut that part out and grate the outsides
Onion and garlic to taste/what you have on hand
Any other additional garden treats (finely chopped kale or chard, hot or sweet peppers, grated carrots, chopped celery)
Finely Chopped Herbs (parsley, basil, cutting celery, thyme, whatever you got growing, or in your spice cupboard)
Beaten Eggs-enough to bind everything together. I usually do 2-3 for a couple large but not toddler sized zucchinis
Bread Crumbs/Panko/Cornmeal- some mixture of all or some of these, enough to hold everything together. The mixture should feel kinda wet but not sopping. You might need to add more as you go since the zuchinni will leak some liquid.
Seasonings to taste and them some- Pepper, dulse, table kelp, Italian Seasonings, fennel or take it a different route and add in curry powder, 5 Spice do what you want and have fun but add in a LOT!!!
Preheat the oven to 400F and really oil a baking pan or line with foil or parchment paper.
Mix everything together and add more eggs, bread crumbs or seasonings as needed.
Scoop 1/2 -1 T of the mixture and form it into a tot like shape.
Bake your tots for roughly 20ish minutes making sure that you flip the tots halfway through. You are looking for a very dark golden brown color on both side and they shouldn't feel spongy or wet. If you are going to eat them right away you might want to bake them even longer.
To Freeze: Allow the tots to cool completely and then freeze them on a baking tray. When they are frozen solid scoop them into a freezer bag and stash for later. When you are ready to eat place them frozen onto a baking tray and bake at 375-400 for 10-15 minutes, or the time it takes to make the rest of your dinner. There is so much moisture in zuchinni that you really can over bake (burn) them and they still will taste amazing. I once really burnt a batch when I got super distracted and they were still great!
If you eating these and realize that there is not enough seasoning make an amazing dipping sauce. Try a curry ketchup, spicy mayo, or a vibrant tomato sauce, all work super well!!
I can't say this enough: make more then you think you will ever eat!!! You'll eat them all and be wishing for more and next year you will be planting extra zucchini plants just to make more tots!!