I love zucchini, and really, any sort of squash. Tastes like little pats of butter, if you ask me. And, it’s good for us! But most folks just think of squashes and gourds primarily for the fall time.
I eat a lot of zucchini. I put it in everything from lasagna to seafood gremolata to stir fry to chili to oil (as in, frying… but you Southerners probably guessed that).
Zucchini is just one of the wonderful varieties available to us now in summer squashes. You can also find crookneck, pattypan, and chayote around about now. Summer squashes are just so delectable with their softer texture and tender fruit. They stands up to just about any method of cooking or grilling, so they are versatile and meaty without being heavy or too filling.
Pick some up at your next farmer’s market, and let’s explore a few tips about these bright summer veggies, shall we?
- Look for firm, bright-colored squash without spots. The smaller the squash, the more tender it will be.
- You may refrigerate squash in a plastic bag for up to 5 days after purchasing.
- Equivalents are 1 pound is about 3 medium squashes, or 3 cups chopped.
- Just before using, wash and trim the ends, but there is no need too peel a summer squash. Blot dry with paper towels if you wish to use in a salad or fry.
- Summer squash has a high water content, so doesn’t need to be cooked long. To keep it at its tenderest, steam, bake, saute, or deep fry.
- To grill, cut your squash lengthwise in the half-inch thick slices (zucchini works really well here). Brush with olive oil and season, if you wish, with salt and pepper. Grill for about 2 minutes over a hot fire. Turn the slices with tongs and grill for another minute or two.
Summer at its freshest!
A recipe for yummy stuffed zucchini:
Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the center flesh. Chop the flesh and combine with onions, garlic, bell peppers, tomatoes and bread crumbs (season to taste). Fill the zucchini shell and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. Experiment as well with rice, meat, different cheeses, whatever you like!