Keen on Zucchini

Many years ago, Dr. Henry Bieler, a renowned medical doctor who catered to the glamorous Hollywood starlets of the early 20th century, created a soup — the infamous “Bieler’s Broth.” This zucchini-based concoction was touted for its wonderful healing properties. Although Dr. Bieler certainly helped propel zucchini to a new level of fame, I wonder if even he realized the many uses of this delicious and plentiful summer squash. Zucchini, called courgette in parts of Europe, New Zealand and South Africa, is the most popular of all the summer squashes. Though it traces its origins back to Central America, what we typically think of as zucchini was first cultivated in Italy. For culinary purposes, it’s treated as a vegetable, but scientifically speaking, zucchini is really a fruit.

With a mild, delicate flavor, it’s lovely raw, as in salads, or lightly cooked in simple dishes or even “hidden” in sauces. And its high water content means it cooks quickly and makes a moist addition to quick breads and muffins. Once purchased, be sure to use it within a few days. Keep in mind that zucchini does not like to be cold for too long. The longer it sits in the refrigerator, the more likely it is to develop little pits along the surface of its skin – evidence of cold damage. The most common varieties are either dark or light green, but the brilliant golden variety is equally delicious.

Zucchini is ideal in summer salads, on the grill, stuffed or baked, in cold or hot soups or as a side dish. You can even enjoy it as part of a healthy breakfast, a delicious snack or a yummy dessert.  Even its flowers are enjoyed as a delicacy in many cultures, often enjoyed stuffed. Here are some fun and delicious zucchini tips and recipes to add to your summer menus:

Are you keen on zucchini? I’d love to hear about your favorite recipe?  Let me know in the comments below.