It's zucchini time

Zuni cafe zucchini pickles

If there is one food you can count on finding at any farmers' market in Northern Hemisphere at this time of year, it's zucchini. Most people who plant it end up with far more than they can use, foisting the extra on relatives and friends. If you end up with a surfeit of the yellow and green vegetables, Russ Parsons of the L.A. Times can help you find new ways to use them.

There are over 100 varieties of zucchini, but the most common can be broken down into two basic types. Parsons provides an explanation of the differences between these: the yellow or light-colored varieties "tend to be smaller at the stem than at the flower end. The flavor tends to be mild and the texture firm, and they're great for soups." The dark green variety, on the other hand, "tend to be roughly the same diameter from stem to flower [and] are a little more vibrantly flavored but also tend to fall apart in long cooking. Serve these raw, or cooked only briefly."

Parsons goes on to describe the two most important techniques to keep in mind when using zucchini: glazing and salting. Glazing zucchini "means cooking it in a covered pan over medium heat with some oil, a little bit of water and whatever flavorings you prefer." As the zucchini becomes tender, remove the lid and turn up the heat to evaporate the water and create a pan sauce of sorts. Salting is important when serving zucchini raw. It draws out some of the water and changes the texture in a pleasing way. Be sure to rinse it and pat it dry before serving.

The article includes tips on how to purchase zucchini and offers a dozen recipes. For more inspiration, turn to the following highly-rated zucchini recipes from the EYB Library - many indexed by EYB Members:

Zucchini and yellow squash gratin from by Everyday Food Magazine
Provençal tartlets
from My Recipes by Annie Somerville and Sunset Magazine
Zucchini tomato gratin
from Proud Italian Cook
Courgette & ricotta tart
from BBC Good Food Magazine Home Cooking Series
Zuni Cafe's zucchini pickles
from The Wednesday Chef by Luisa Weiss (pictured at top)

1 Comment

  • emiller  on  8/2/2015 at 11:17 AM

    You can also make noodles with something like this: After 2-3 minutes in a pan, they are soft like cooked spaghetti

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