Cookbook:Zucchini

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Cookbook | Recipes | Ingredients | Vegetable

zucchini

Zucchinis (also known as courgettes) are a type of summer squash (or marrow) that are harvested and used as an immature fruit. Zucchinis need to be cooked before eating, but a very light application of heat will be enough. Overcooked zucchinis become a soggy green mess, often disintegrating entirely into mush. They are excellent sliced into fingers or rounds and steamed. They can be sautéed in oil. Zucchini and tomato is an excellent combination.

Zucchinis are available year-round in most places, but they are at their best when they are not too big. As they grow they tend to become more watery, sometimes getting an unpleasant bitter taste. The zucchinis should be a tight shiny green with no dimples, wrinkles, or 'soggy bits'. If a zucchini is limp and floppy then it is much too old.

Though rarely seen commercially, the flowers are edible too. Zucchini flowers can be picked shortly after fertilisation, then battered and lightly fried. They can also be stuffed. Sometimes the baby zucchinis are picked while they are the length of a finger, then treated similarly to the flowers.

Larger zucchini, generally grown to 5"(12.7cm) diameter by accident in a home garden, can be stuffed. Cut the monster zucchini in half, hollow it out, and bake it with stuffing. Rice and tomato, topped with cheese, works well.

Seasonality[edit]

Seasonality tables|Autumn|Winter|Spring|Summer|All year
Zucchini Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
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southern hemisphere Seasonality3.gif Seasonality3.gif Seasonality3.gif Seasonality1.gif Seasonality1.gif Seasonality1.gif Seasonality1.gif Seasonality1.gif Seasonality1.gif Seasonality1.gif Seasonality1.gif Seasonality3.gif

The zucchini season starts in early summer and end at the start of autumn. Out of season, courgettes are grown in greenhouses.

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For information about growing Summer Squash, see the chapter on Summer Squash in Horticulture.