Anyone who’s ever grown them is familiar with the zucchini’s versatility (of necessity—they have a tendency to take over summer gardens). Zucchini adds a touch of sweetness to cakes and breads, works as a healthy replacement for pasta, is fabulous mixed into salads and makes a great, simple snack when sliced and eaten raw (or, for a somewhat guiltier pleasure, sliced, battered and deep-fried).
No matter how you like it, zucchini is a summer garden winner!
Tips and Tricks
- Select small- to medium-sized zucchini for the best flavor and texture. Large zucchini look impressive, but they tend to be mealy and full of seeds.
- Zucchini are relatively easy to grow in most North American climates but be sure to pick your zucchini before they get too big (4-8” is the optimal size). They grow fast, so it can be hard to keep up!
- Freeze fresh zucchini to enjoy it year-round. Grate, chop, or spiralize your zucchini (depending on how you plan to use it when thawed), then blanch it briefly in boiling water and pat dry prior to freezing.
- Zucchini can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, but avoid longer storage times.
- Trim the stem and base, but hang on to the ends to add flavor to broth and stock.
- Like squash blossoms, fresh zucchini blossoms are edible and can be enjoyed a number of ways. They’re great battered and fried, and are easy to stuff (try goat cheese).
- Break out that spiralizer! There are only 25 calories in a medium sized zucchini (a cup of spaghetti has 221 calories). We love this OXO Tabletop Spiralizer for side dishes or the KitchenAid Spiralizer Attachment for large-quantity zoodling.
- The largest zucchini on record was grown in Plymouth Devon, UK. It weighed 65 lb. and measured in at a whopping 69.5” in length. That’s almost 6 feet!
- Zucchini can be eaten raw or cooked.
- Peak zucchini season runs from late June through August.