Zucchini is a quick-cooking, tender and mild-flavored member of the squash family. Available year-round in most supermarkets and easy to grow in home gardens, it’s probably the most popular variety of summer squash in the world.
Zucchini (courgettes) originated in Europe, and the first record of them in the United States dates back to around 1920 when they were most likely brought to California by Italian immigrants.
Low in calories and high in folate, potassium and vitamin A, zucchini is a good choice for its nutritional value as well as its flavor and versatility.
How to shop for and store zucchini
Zucchini can be found in several color variations: yellow, dark green or light green.
For the best flavor, choose zucchini that are on the small side with smooth, glossy, unblemished skins and keep them unwashed until ready to use.
They can be stored for up to three days after purchase, but when refrigerated, they may develop pits in the surface. These pits are a sign of chilling damage, and once they develop you should try to use the zucchini right away.
How To Prepare Zucchini
Zucchini can be prepared in a variety of ways including steaming, baking, roasting, grilling, boiling, frying and stuffing and each pound of zucchini yields 3 to 3-1/2 cups roughly chopped or about 2-1/2 cups shredded.
Here’s a basic recipe for roasted zucchini that’s ready in less than 30 minutes:Print
- Yield: 4 to 6 servings
- 3 to 4 medium zucchini (1 to 1-1/4 lbs)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and coat a shallow baking pan with cooking spray.
- Quarter the zucchini lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1-1/2-inch pieces. Place the zucchini in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss to combine.
- Arrange the zucchini, cut side up, in a single layer on the prepared baking pan. Roast until tender, 20 to 25 minutes, then remove from the oven, sprinkle with the grated parmesan and continue roasting until golden, 5 to 7 minutes longer.