As a kid, I mistakenly called zucchinis “bikinis” — and that was pretty much the extent of my relationship with them for the past 30 years. My mother, on the other hand, could and would eat steamed zucchini for every meal of the day, which just goes to show the polarizing nature of this vegetable. Some people enjoy zucchini raw, while others need a load of butter and the threat of no dessert to choke them down.
Q: Recently I made a zucchini recipe that sounded good (honey, EVOO, orange zest, cayenne). It was all tossed together and grilled. To me, the zucchini tasted bitter. My husband suggested trying it again, but salting the zucchini first, as one would do with eggplant. Has anyone had this problem with bitterness in zucchini? Could it be because it’s a bit too early for zucchini? Does salting benefit zucchini?
Despite my excitement about zucchini and summer squash hitting the market and showing up in my CSA, it doesn’t take long before I am totally overwhelmed. It’s probably the same way you feel when it takes over your garden. You can’t use it up or share it fast enough. Recipes certainly offer helpful ways to put it to work, but if you’re anything like me, you turn to the same few over and over again.
If you’ve ever had a vegetable garden, particularly one that included a zucchini plant, you know how easy it is to get bogged down with a lot of zucchini — like pounds and pounds of zucchini — and how fast it can happen. And if you are not familiar with this situation firsthand, just imagine a plant spitting out a constant stream of zucchini all summer long.
Brace yourself: zucchini are coming. But it doesn’t stop at the farmers markets. Home-grown zucchini have a reputation for growing to epic, monster-sized proportions. They have an equally massive wow-factor, that’s for sure. But here’s the thing: These monster zucchini are totally impressive to look at, but they’re not really all that delicious.
Zucchini is coming into season right now where I live in Columbus, Ohio. I’m genuinely thrilled! Zucchini signals the official start of summer and all the other vegetables that are on the way. Zucchini makes life a little easier in my professional kitchen (it takes almost no time to prep); it brings endless ideas to the menu and some of our customers’ favorite dishes. At home, the arrival of local zucchini means I can cook without having to plan ahead.
Q: This year I am harvesting my first courgettes [zucchini, for all the Americans in the audience! – Ed]. Is there any way of preparing courgette flowers other than deep-frying?Looking forward to hearing your ideas.Sent by GudrunEditor: Gudrun, sure! There are lots of ways to use the blossoms.
I have a thing for cucumbers. I love their watery crispness and the way they taste with a little salt on top. But I don’t like how they can water down a whole salad with their extra moisture. Zucchini are similar; whenever I make a frittata or quiche with zucchini they have to be treated first to keep them from turning the whole thing into a soggy mess. Which brings me to this tip: when you are making a dish with cucumbers or zucchini, it really helps to salt and drain them first.