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In the U.K. these are called courgette after the French word for zucchini. Like tomatoes squash are technically fruit although we think of it as a vegetable. They are in season only during May through July in the Northern Hemisphere but are now readily available being shipped from all over the globe. In the winter months they can be more woody and I prefer to use out of season zukes for stews or breads.
I love zucchini squash. In fact, the vegetables I served on opening night in my restaurant were slices of yellow squash and zucchini steamed with just a bit of marjoram butter. I had one diner who came to the kitchen to ask how this was prepared. When I told him that the vegetables were simply steamed he wouldn’t believe me and insisted that we had used white wine or some other secret ingredient. Not so. It’s simply the sweetness of zucchini that offers such great flavors.
The rules for choosing zukes are the same as with other squash. It’s best to look for small to medium size but they should feel heavy in the hand. Large zucchini will be dry and have a woody texture. Blemished skin is a sign of age so choose those with smooth, bright green skins that feel firm to touch.
There are dozens of other types of squash but one that I love is the pattypan or scallop squash. You may have seen these in the market. The yellow ones look like small flattened summer squash and the green ones like little zucchinis. They are great steamed and served as a side dish. Because they are small they are sweet and tender.
8 ounces zucchini squash = 32 calories, 0g fat, 0g sat fat, 0g mono fat, 3g protein, 7g carbohydrates, 7mg sodium, 0mg cholesterol, 10 mcg Vitamin K, 2 grams fiber
Eat well, eat healthy, enjoy life!
January 15, 2006