Zucchini and Squash
Types, Selection and Storage
Zucchini are also called courgettes and can greatly range in size depending on maturity. Zucchini can also be dark or pale green or yellow. The most common type of squash are button squash also called pattipan squash. Button squash can be bright green to deep yellow in colour. Choose glossy skinned squash and zucchini with few blemishes. Avoid squash and zucchini that are soft or spongy. Zucchini flowers are edible and have a very short shelf life so should be used soon after purchase. Store unwashed zucchini and squash in the crisper section of the refrigerator, washing promotes decay.
Squash and zucchini are available all year round but are best in the summer months. Zucchini flowers are only readily available in summer-autumn.
Zucchini and squash do not need to be peeled. When zucchini and squash are more mature they can have a large amount of seeds which can be removed from the centre of the vegetable before use. Mature zucchini and squash are good with their seeds removed then stuffed and baked. Young zucchini can be eaten thinly sliced and raw. Zucchini and squash can also be baked, grilled, barbequed, stir fried, fried, braised, boiled and steamed. Zucchini slices can be battered and made into chips. Zucchini and squash can become waterlogged so are best cooked in a little water and butter and oil rather than boiled or steamed. Small zucchini can be pickled similarly to cucumbers. Zucchini flowers can be stuffed, battered and deep fried, unstuffed flowers can be chopped and fried and added to risottos, pasta or omelettes.
Summer squash varieties are a source of fibre, iron, manganese, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, riboflavin, niacin, zinc, and vitamins A, B6 and C.
Types of Zucchini and Squash