Zucchini

I recently discovered a new way to prepare this wonderful summer vegetable.  I am amazed at how many different recipes you can find which use zucchini.  I think that may be because of how bountiful the zucchini plant is if you are lucky enough to have one in your garden.  We make a lot of zucchini bread during the summer, and we also love to sauté thinly sliced zucchini with slice of sweet onion.  Top it off with a nice sprinkling of fresh or dried dill and you have a great side dish.  Recently though, I tried cutting the zucchini into wedges, topping the wedges with a little olive oil and salt and then roasting them in a 450 degree oven for approximately 15 minutes.   We all just love the crisp-tender wedges and it has become one of our new favorites.

Zucchini Facts and Tips:

  • Zucchinni is a type of narrow squash that resembles a cucumber in size and shape. It has smooth, thin skin that is either green or yellow in color and can be striped or speckled. Its tender flesh is creamy white in color and features numerous seeds. Its edible flowers are often used in French and Italian cooking.
  • Zucchini is an excellent source of manganese and vitamin C. It is also a very good source of magnesium, vitamin A, dietary fiber, potassium, copper, folate, and phosphorous. In addition, zucchini is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, calcium, zinc, niacin, and protein.
  • When purchasing zucchini, look for ones that are heavy for their size and have shiny, unblemished rinds. Additionally, the rinds should not be very hard since this indicates that the zucchini is overmature and will have hard seeds and stringy flesh. Purchase zucchini that is of average size since those that are overly large may be fibrous, while those that are overly small may be inferior in flavor.
  • Zucchini is very fragile and should be handled with care as small punctures will lead to decay. It should be stored unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, where it will keep for about seven days.
  • Wash zucchini under cool running water and then cut off both ends. You can then proceed to cut it into the desired size and shape for the particular recipe.
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