Zucchini is part of the summer squash family. This type of squash has been picked while still immature, making its skin tender and thin and the seeds edible. Mild in flavour, it can be grilled, tossed into a stir-fry, deep-fried for a fun party appetizer, or made into a delicious and moist zucchini loaf.
Types of Zucchini:
The most common types of zucchini include ones that are straight, slim and either dark green or yellow in colour. English zucchini is a little fatter in shape and is speckled green and white. This squash can also be called “courgette.”
How to Pick Zucchini:
Choose one that is shiny, firm, vibrant in colour (whether light or dark green), and is free from spots or blemishes. Smaller zucchinis will be more tender then larger ones! A good size is four to eight inches long and two to three inches thick. Larger sizes are best used for baking.
How to Store Zucchini:
You can store them in the refrigerator in a plastic bag for up to five days. Don’t wash until you’re ready to use.
How To Prepare Zucchini:
After you wash it, blot dry and cut off both ends then slice it any way you like. You don’t need to peel because the skin is very tender.
Ways you can cut zucchini:
- Sliced into thin wedges: grilling, frying.
- Cut into chunks: stir fry, roasting, grilling( if you have a grill pan or skewer them).
- Grated: adds moisture to baked goods and ground meat dishes.
- Centre scooped out: stuffing.
- Cut into thick slices : grilling, frying, roasting.
- Thin slices and ribbons (use a peeler or mandolin): great for salads, appetizers.
Because of it’s substantial water content, it won’t take long to cook when using heat methods such as steaming, roasting, baking, sautéing or deep-frying. It’s best to cook until just tender-crisp. It can also be enjoyed raw in salad or as part of a veggie platter.
3 medium zucchinis = about 3 cups chopped
Kary’s Zucchini Tips:
- Zucchini holds a lot of water. To remove it, simply salt diced or sliced pieces and leave for half an hour. Rinse and squeeze dry with a paper towel. This will leave you with more flavour.
- Zucchini is best enjoyed when tender crisp. To make sure you don’t overcook zucchini, keep an eye on its skin. You’ll notice that just under the skin it will turn bright green as it cooks. This is a good indication that it has reached its tender-crisp point.
- Grate zucchini using a large-hole box grater and add to meatloaf, pasta sauces, and burgers. It will add moisture, nutrients, and flavour!
What Goes Well With Zucchini?
Zucchini goes well with: Basil, butter, sweet bell peppers, Cheese such as feta, ricotta and goat, eggplant, garlic, lemon, oregano, olive oil, parsley, pepper, salt, salmon, onion, thyme, tomatoes, vinegar, and pecans.
Zucchini Flavour Combinations:
+ basil + Parmesan
+ red peppers + eggplant + onions + tomatoes
+ olive oil + salt + pepper + oregano
+ feta + lemon + olive oil