Monster Zucchini: how to make Italian homemade brustolini

Hi all, today we are going to talk about a couple of yummy summer delicacies.

First of all, one is already there, lurking in your backyard’s garden. And it’s growing bigger by the day.
Of course, I’m talking about giant zucchini. Or better say: monster-zucchini!

And then, what is the actual meaning of the Italian word bruscolini? Italian bruscolini are toasted and salted pumpkin seeds. Therefore a little and simple gluttony from the good olden days.


Brustolini: an Italian food story

Brustolini or bruscolini are plural words of brustolino and bruscolino. Also, you can say “brustulli” as a true bolognese.

Brustulli have been considered old-fashion and a little obsolete from many years. All of a sudden today we find pumpkin seeds everywhere, stored in handy plastic bags, thanks to the reintroduction of seeds and nuts in many diets.

Some years back they were sold by the bulk by a “brustolinaio” or “brustolinaia” (the name of the men or the woman who sold them).

And until the end of the Sixties, you could find these characters a little everywhere selling these delicious snacks. They carried their baskets or boxes to the movie theaters or dancing rooms or to the stadium during the Sunday soccer match.

Probably we could consider brustolini like the Italian version of the American popcorn.

How to make homemade brustolini 

As I said, today we find toasted, savory and peeled pumpkin seeds everywhere.
Somehow, it was feeling like the end of a poetry era. Some nostalgia took me.  I thought: in the end, pragmatism won.
But then, I stumbled into my vegetable garden. Literally.

When I find monster Zucchini in my organic vegetable garden

Summer is the most beautiful season for the garden. But Summer is also vacation and travel time!

Therefore recently I’ve ignored my garden for a few days and when I came back, I found that my zucchini were blown up. In a metaphoric way this time. If you too have ignored the situation until you just can’t anymore, now you’ve got to do something before it’s too late. I’m talking about those monster zucchini you have growing in your garden. Those things weigh more than a small child, and it’s time to make something with them. What do you think about an Italian treat?

Monster Zucchini and how to make Italian homemade brustolini

Monster Zucchini and how to make Italian homemade brustolini

How to make homemade brustolini from giant zucchini

I thought they were good for nothing until an old farmer told me: “I have the right tip for you”. As Neo in the front of the Oracle, I was attending the greatest revelation.
And here it is for you: from those long-green-zucchini you can make brustolini and you don’t even have to turn the oven on (in a very hot Italian summer day that is a golden revelation!).

  • Wait until your veggies become giant and yellow. When they are really big, pick them and lay them in the sun for some days until they become even yellower , remember to turn them.
  • If you have giant round zucchini….sorry!, there are no seeds inside, but you can use them as home decorations.
  • When your monsters are ready, cut them and scoop out the seeds.
  • Zucchini seeds can be used also to grow new zucchini plants!
  • In order to make brustolini, clean the seeds and place them in the sun for about 15 days.
  • When they’re dried, flavor with salt or paprika and place them in a jar, ready for aperitivo.
  • Roast them in oven or pan for a quick result.



Monster Zucchini and how to make Italian homemade brustolini

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