Picking and Storing Zucchini
When selecting zucchini, try to
buy the smallest ones available and always check the condition
of the skin - look for zucchinis without blemishes or marks, and
remember that the skin of this vegetable should be smooth,
healthy and slightly glossy, and attached to a fresh looking
stem. The zucchini should feel firm, and shouldn't be limp at
all. Store in a plastic bag, in the refrigerator for up to 4 or
Varieties of Zucchini
There are lots of different types of zucchini. The following
information is about some of the most popular varieties that we
use in everyday cooking and recipes:
zucchini: The flesh is firm and this particular variety is
practically seedless. Baby courgettes are ideal for pickling as
well as other cooking methods. They do not take long to cook and
can actually be steamed or blanched whole.
zucchini: these are the usual types that we most commonly use in
recipes. Green zucchini has deep green, smooth, glossy skin and
is attached to a green stem which is around 1 inch, or more,
long. This type of courgette is very versatile as it can be
cooked in many different ways including roasted, grilled,
steamed, baked, boiled and fried.
zucchini: The yellow courgette is very similar to the green
courgettes in flavor and size, however, they are usually a
little straighter! The skin is bright yellow and the flesh is
normally firmer. The stems are green.
zucchini: This variety is cooked in the same way as standard
zucchinis, however, they are a bottle gourd. Italian zucchini is
green but they are very long and thin. As the name suggests,
they are cultivated in Italy!
Preparing Zucchini for Cooking
When preparing zucchini for cooking, wash the zucchini well
under cold running water. The preparation part is very simple
for this vegetable as it is easy to handle and cut. Once you
have washed the zucchini, cut off a small amount from either end
- top and tail.
Chop the zucchini according to the
recipe - either slice or or slit for stuffing. Zucchini is
becoming increasingly popular and there are lots of recipes with
zucchini available these days to try such as soups, roasted and
Zucchini can be frozen and it is very easy to do so! Simply
blanch the zucchini slices for two minutes, then plunge them
immediately into cold water. Drain the slices then place in an
airtight container, before storing in the freezer.
Fried zucchini is very nice and makes a delicious accompaniment
to a meal alongside other vegetables. Zucchini tends to absorb a
fair amount of liquid so try slicing it quite thickly - around
half an inch wide, and fry the slices in a little oil.
Keep the heat turned down fairly
low to prevent your zucchini from burning. If the heat is too
high, the zucchini may not be tender enough on the inside for
As zucchini tends to absorb a lot of liquid during the cooking
process, try slicing the vegetable quite thickly - around half
an inch (the slices can be halved again to help them to cook
more quickly). Heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil in a roasting tray -
avoid using too much oil as this can make vegetables soggy and
delay the overall cooking time. Add the zucchini slices to the
oil and place in a preheated oven at approximately 180-190
degrees. Give the tray a shake once or twice during the cooking
process to ensure the zucchini cooks evenly, and to prevent it
from burning. Check after approximately 20 minutes. Zucchini
compliments other vegetables really well, particularly peppers,
aubergine and onion. Try roasting a selection together for a
really healthy and delicious option. Try adding crushed garlic
for a delicious, fuller flavor.