British Columbia

What to do if a mystery do-gooder gifts you a gigantic zucchini

When a "toddler-size" zucchini landed on Stephen Quinn's door, the host of CBC's The Early Edition had two thoughts: Who's behind this? Also, what do I do with this thing?

Chocolate cake? Fritters? Maybe a zucchini foot bath?

A zucchini significantly larger than those pictured was left at the front door of Stephen Quinn, host of CBC's The Early Edition. (Getty Images)

A few days ago, Stephen Quinn opened his front door to find an enormous, striped zucchini sitting there. 

The gift from a green-thumbed neighbour left the host of CBC's The Early Edition a tad puzzled. Firstly, "who did this?" But, more importantly, what to do with this thing?

It turns out Early Edition listeners and Quinn's legion of loyal Twitter followers have plenty of ideas. Perhaps a batch of zucchini-basil soup is in order? To satisfy a sweet tooth, maybe zucchini chocolate cake? Or, what about a zucchini foot bath? Wait — what?

A treat for the feet

"My feet get hot and tired, and it's really nice to cool them off," said one listener who called in with what was likely the most creative suggestion. "I imagine the same thing happens to you."

She advised Quinn to slice the over-sized gourd down the middle, length-wise, scoop out the pulp and throw both the removed pulp and the remaining halves into the fridge to chill. 

"Go and sit on a chair on your porch," she continued. "You put one foot in each half and then you cover them with the nice, cold pulp. That's what you do with an over-large zucchini."

After listening to the instructions, Quinn deadpanned: "Um, that's disgusting ... zucchini foot baths — who knew?"

Fritters or the freezer

For the less adventurous among us, Quinn was joined Tuesday morning by Andrea Potter, a local chef and holistic nutritionist who offered her tips for what to do with the giant vegetable. 

Potter admits it took her a while to love zucchinis.

"My mom overcooked it — sorry, Mom!" said the founder of Rooted Nutrition, a Vancouver-based cooking school. "But don't overcook it, and it's delicious."

One of her favourite recipes is zucchini fritters.

Potter grates the flesh of the zucchini then with a colander squishes out as much moisture as possible, which she says can be saved to make a natural skin toner. 

Once the pulp is dry, Potter combines it in a bowl with an egg and some coconut flour as a binder. She said you can dress it up with whatever flavours you'd like. At this time of year, she prefers dill and garlic because it reminds her of summer. Finally, drop them by the spoonful into a hot pan with oil, flip them and you've got a batch of zucchini latkes. 

If you're not in the mood for zucchini, Potter recommends chopping up the vegetable, tossing the pieces into a freezer bag and putting it in the freezer for a later date. 

The 'tofu of vegetables'

Quinn said the zucchini left on his porch was the "size of a toddler." Expect zucchinis of that magnitude to be full of water, said Potter.

"You'll be surprised at how little zucchini you actually get when you press the water out of it," she added. But what is left, she said, is still full of fibre and other nutritional benefits, like vitamin A and manganese. 

Dubbed by the radio host as the "tofu of vegetables" since it offers little flavour on its own, Potter said the vegetable will absorb the taste of pretty much whatever you pair it with.

"Apparently, they could make a good pair of slippers as well," Quinn added.

With files from The Early Edition

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