Learn About Zucchini

Author: Chef Sydney

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What is Zucchini?

A zucchini, also called a courgette or green squash, is a fruit originating from Central America.  It is long and green, similar in shape and size to a cucumber, and is considered to be a summer squash.  Zucchini has a similar texture to cucumber and tends to be soft inside because it holds water, but the peel is firmer and crunchy.

What Does Zucchini Taste Like?

Zucchini has a mild, almost bland taste.  It usually takes on the flavors of other foods it is cooked with.  Unripe zucchini tastes bitter compared to ripe zucchini.

Learn About Zucchini
Zucchini with slices and zucchini flowers on a wooden table.

How Do You Eat Zucchini?

Zucchini is often enjoyed cooked but can be consumed raw.  The skin and seeds of the zucchini are edible, though some people prefer their zucchini peeled.  Zucchini is commonly grilled, baked, fried, or sauteed.  It is also pureed or grated, added into zucchini bread.  Zucchini sometimes replaces pasta noodles in “zoodles,” spiralized zucchini that acts like spaghetti.  Parmesan-crusted zucchini is baked or fried as a side dish to meat recipes.  Sliced zucchini makes baked or fried zucchini chips.  It is usually paired with vegetables in bakes, salads, and other side dishes.

Where Can You Buy Zucchini?

Zucchinis are easy to find year-round in the chilled produce section of the grocery store.  They are best enjoyed during their peak season of June through August.

How Do You Store Zucchini?

Store zucchini in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.  You can place them in an unsealed bag in the crisper drawer.  They can last a few days up to 2 weeks, depending on freshness.

Fun Facts About Zucchini

Zucchini is easy to grow in your vegetable garden.  People eat the flowers of the zucchini plant stuffed or fried.

Did You Know?

The world’s largest zucchini was almost 100 inches long.

Recipes Using Zucchini

Baked Zucchini

Bake zucchini with parmesan for a delicious side dish. Start by washing and chopping zucchinis into wedges. Toss with olive oil before transferring to a baking sheet. In a bowl, combine parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, rosemary, and thyme. Coat the zucchini in the mixture and bake until zucchini is tender.

Zoodles

Use zucchini to create zucchini noodles, better know as zoodles. Place zucchini in a spiralizer and create long ribbons of zucchini. Put zoodles in a preheated skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve with your favorite cream sauce or marinara.

Zucchini Boats

Scoop out most of the zucchini to create a base for the mixture. Brown ground beef, onions, salt, pepper, and finely chopped jalapeños. Stir in cheddar cheese and canned tomatoes. Place zucchini boats in a baking dish. Using a spoon, scoop the meat mixture into the boats. Cover with more cheddar cheese and bake until the zucchini is tender.

Zucchini Fritters

Make a twist on a classic by using zucchini. Use a grater to shred zucchini. Using a cheesecloth, wring out excess water from zucchini. Combine shredded zucchini, eggs, flour, parmesan cheese, and minced garlic in a bowl. Drop small amounts of the zucchini mixture in a hot frying pan with olive oil. Flip when the bottom turns golden-brown and remove from the pan when both sides are golden-brown. Serve with sour cream and fresh chives.

Zucchini Salad

Add zucchinis to salads to create a crunch. Dice zucchini into bite-sized pieces. Mix zucchini, olives, onions, feta, and almonds in a bowl. Top with a simple vinaigrette and grilled chicken.


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