Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Ingredient of the Day: Zucchini!

Zucchini (and scallop squash, another kind of summer squash) is a nice, summery vegetable that has so many uses and a delicate, sweet flavor. although some hate it, i personally love it, both raw and cooked. it’s also one of those vegetables that are so versatile, and can be eaten raw, stir fried, in sauces, salads and pastas, among a multitude of applications. given that it’s readily available and relatively cheap, it’s a nutritious vegetable that we can incorporate many different ways into our meals. it is particularly useful for adding summery color to your dishes and bulking up vegetarian/vegetable dishes, and goes great with proteins that have a mild flavor (white fish, chicken). in my home country, korea, zucchini is generally eaten cooked, in stews/soups, casseroles or as a banchan (side dish) - lightly sauteed in oil, then seasoned with garlic and saewujot (a kind of shrimp sauce), although it does have a pleasant taste raw (try shaving slices with a vegetable peeler like noodles, and then tossing it with a bit of lemon zest & juice, olive oil, salt, pepper & basil).

some ways i might cook zucchini:
  • chopped or sliced into pasta sauce/lasagnas 
  • turned into a ricotta and zucchini filling for ravioli 
  • as a side dish to poisson blanc en surprise (white fish surprise - fish cooked in a paper bag) - very simply cooked with some haricot vert and shallots 
  • in ratatouille 
  • take the blossoms, stuff them in the traditional italian way, the fry them in olive oil 
  • slivered using a vegetable peeler, then dressed simply as described above as a summery side salad 
What are some ways you might cook zucchini? how do you eat it where you come from?

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