Varieties we grow and love: Don’t forget that zucchini are still summer squashes, so there is plenty of cross over when identifying what’s what. The easiest thing to remember is all the tender skinned squashes harvested in the summer are interchangeable and really all summer squash 😉
- Elite – a dark green, very smooth squash with sweet flavor
- Golden zucchini- a bright golden skinned squash
- Costata Romanesca- medium green, somewhat mottled or speckled skin with pronounced ridges
- Cousa- a pale green, Middle Eastern type zucchini (or summer squash), kind of rounder and fatter than long like the Elite, typically dryer than zucchini and more flavorful than the yellow summer squash
As always, fresh produce is most delicious and nutritious when consumed as close to the harvest date as possible.
Fresh summer squashes do not store well…they are so full of moisture you will notice the ends desiccate quickly and they also can become bitter. It is good to note that in drought conditions, sometimes the end does not swell as much and looks a little deformed. These are still fine to eat, they just don’t meet the standards of wholesalers to supermarkets. Store zucchinis and summer squashes in the refrigerator, wrapped in paper towels and plastic. They will keep like this for several days. to be honest, I have tossed a bag of squashes in the crisper, forgotten about them and had them be just fine after a week 🙂
Sadly, zucchini do not lend themselves well to freezing. Having said that, all baked good with zucchini freeze beautifully so our freezer is usually well stocked with zucchini squares, breads and cakes. You can also dry squashes by slicing thinly and dry until brittle in your dehydrator or 125 degree oven. Store in airtight container.
– can be enjoyed in:
- Spiralized for veggie noodles
Tips for preparing: Handle with care, the skins bruise and scratch SO easily. Wash gently and trim ends. Summer squashes are very moist, so if you are going to fry or grate for baked goods, let them drain on paper toweling for 15 minutes or so.
For first timers: slice your squash 1/8″ thick, sprinkle with salt, drain on towels, pat dry-ish. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium high heat, add a couple sliced or minced garlic cloves, toss in squash and sautée until tender, about 5 minutes. Season with freshly ground pepper and if you have favorite herbs, by all means stir those in. Basil or chives are naturals!
Also check out these great recipes: