Poor zucchini, it's hard to get any respect when you're the most prolific and fastest-growing vegetable of them all. Everyone wants homegrown tomatoes no matter how many you have, but offer up a few a zucchini and suddenly the room empties. Pity those sad zucchini know-nothings — they have no idea what they're missing! If you're taking zucchini for granted this summer, hold on just a minute.
The thing about zucchini is that — and this is very counter-intuitive — the fewer ingredients you add to it, the better the recipe. This is true! Take zucchini butter, that slow-cooked amalgamation of shredded zucchini, shallots, and olive oil. It's utterly delicious! Or my favorite zucchini carpaccio, which is thin slivers of zucchini warmed in olive oil with slivered almonds and garnished with pecorino. Another take, using similar ingredients, is Sara Kate's summer squash gratin, which calls for baking zucchini with olive oil, breadcrumbs, and cheese until brown and bubbly.
So while your instincts may be to turn and run when your gardening neighbor or colleague shows up with a suspiciously large brown paper bag in mid-August, the smarter thing to do would be to pounce on it and say "yes!"
P.S.: The word "spiralizer" was intentionally left out of this post.