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Food of the Month: Zucchini

In Virginia and many other places May is the start of zucchini season.  It is a crop that a novice gardener can grow in abundance and with very little effort.  It is also a very versatile vegetable which makes it a perfect side dish or addition to a dish that you might be preparing.


What is it? Zucchini is a type of summer squash shaped like a sausage with a green skin that can be mottled with white spots.  Zucchini has a mild flavor that works well in many dishes.  As a general rule, zucchini are best when they are smaller.  If they get too large they become woody and may develop prickly hairs that must be scraped before eating.  A good zucchini will feel heavy for its size because it contains a lot of moisture and will be firm with no sunken spots.


Health Benefits:  Zucchini is high in vitamin C, riboflavin, potassium, folate, dietary fiber and phytonutrients like carotenoids and lignans.


Storage:  Zucchini should be refrigerated in a plastic bag and not washed until you are ready to use it.


Uses: Zucchini can be prepared a number of ways including raw, sautéed, grilled, roasted in the oven or used in soups, breads, and stirfrys.  My favorite ways to prepare them are the following:


  1. Cut the ends of the zucchini off then cut them lengthwise into halves or thirds.
  2. Place them cut side up and brush them lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with the seasoning of your choice (we like Bosari spice blend).
  3. Place them on a hot grill and cook to desired doneness (typically 8-10 minutes) turning halfway through cooking.


Sautéed as Noodles

  1. Using a spiralizer (can be found at stores like Bed, Bath and Beyond or on Amazon) create Zucchini "noodles".
  2. Heat a pan to medium high heat and coat with a little olive oil.  I like to use either garlic or basil infused olive oil for a little extra flavor.
  3. Sauté the noodles for 5-7 minutes seasoning them with salt and pepper as needed.




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