In Season: Zucchini


The yellow or green hued zucchini (or courgette) is actually a fruit, though is usually treated as a vegetable in a gastronomic sense. Botanically speaking, zucchini is the swollen ovary of the female zucchini flower and is picked for eating when the seeds are soft and immature. A key ingredient in the famous French dish Ratatouille, a mainstay in Japanese tempura and a firm favourite when breaded and pan fried in Italian cooking, zucchini is used culinarily in many cultures.

With its delicate flavour, buttery flesh and thin layer of edible skin, zucchini requires little cooking and lends itself to a variety of cooking methods including sautéing, baking and steaming. Cooked zucchini should be tender yet slightly firm to the tooth and can also be enjoyed raw when finely shaved with a vegetable peeler into salads. Keep an eye out for for zucchini with flower in tact, for these lovelies are said to be the sweetest and most fresh.

With widely documented health benefits, zucchinis are said to be cooling in hot weather, blood purifying, anti-inflammatory and diuretic. They have been used to treat ailments such as indigestion, colitis, constipation, kidney and bladder disorders and hypertension.

Zucchini will keep for up to about four days at room temperature or in the vegetable compartment of your fridge though they can be prone to damage from over-chilling which will appear as sunken pits in the surface of the fruit. 

Check in later on today for an amazing zucchini cake recipe adapted from a piece by the sultry Nigella Lawson.

No comments: