Zucchini is also called courgettes, a variety of summer squash in the gourd family, grown for its edible fruits.
In this guide I will show you how to best enjoy this vegetable, talking about cuts, more traditional preparations, and delicious and original dishes.
But before we leave, let's take a step back and see what zucchini is.
The courgettes (or zucchini) are vegetables of the family Cucurbitaceae of which are eaten immature fruits. Native to central-southern America, they prefer temperate climates.
There are various types of different cultivars, of which the most common are the long courgette and the round courgettes.
The low-calorie intake and the concentration of mineral salts and vitamins A and C make them a healthy and nutritious vegetable, as well as very digestible, and thanks to the characteristic delicate flavor they are also very popular in the kitchen. Zucchini are very versatile and go well with both more delicate flavors, such as ricotta or cooked ham, and savorier and stronger, such as pecorino and olives. Preparation methods can vary greatly, from the healthiest steaming to the tastiest frying: whatever cooking method you choose, zucchini will always be delicious.
Follow me in reading this guide to find out how to cook zucchini best.
As mentioned, courgettes are very delicate, so the ideal way to preserve the nutrient content as much as possible is to steam them. However, if you have decided to boil them, you may decide, once well washed, to cook them without removing the ends, so as not to waste the nutrients.
But courgettes are also very good stir-fried, fried, or even raw.
You can use them as a side dish for both the meat for fish, are excellent for preparing sauces for pasta, rice, or even pies and savory pancakes, and perfect for cooking delicious velvety or soups. You can also cut them into very thin slices, grill them (but they are also good raw if you prefer) and use them to prepare very fresh and inviting summer rolls.
Furthermore, they can be used instead of pasta by cutting them in a spiral and creating real spaghetti, which in the jargon are called zoodles.
In addition to savory dishes, zucchini, thanks to their delicate taste, can also be used in sweet recipes, I used them to prepare an excellent cake, combining them with hazelnuts: no one has discovered my secret ingredient and I have managed to amaze and above all delight all everyone! Don't believe it? Try and you will change your mind!
Raw zucchini should be kept in the refrigerator, in the vegetable drawer, and eaten within 3-4 days, a week at the most: being delicate, they are also easily perishable. Alternatively, you can cut them into rounds or chunks, portion them, and place them in the freezer, where they will keep for at least 4-6 months.
Once cooked, they can be stored in the refrigerator or pantry (depending on the outside temperature) for a couple of days, or frozen for 2-4 months.
Alternatively, you can prepare excellent preserves of zucchini in oil, which will last you all winter.
Stewed courgettes, courgette parmigiana, sautéed courgettes... I love them all, and you?