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Ingredient Spotlight: Zucchini and Summer Squash


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Ingredient Spotlight: Zucchini and Summer Squash

Post by Lobo on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 6:25 pm

Ingredient Spotlight: Zucchini and Summer Squash

June 14, 2016 | 

Summer Squash Tartines with Rosemary and Lemon
Bright, colorful summer squash are sweet, tender and abundant at farmers’ markets in the summer — and they’re as versatile as vegetables come. From yellow crooknecks to vibrant green zucchini, serve them grilled, roasted, sautéed or even raw. Here are a few of our best tips for choosing and working with summer squash, plus simple ways to prepare them from the Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen.


Summer Squash: Everything You Need to Know

Roasted Zucchini with Anchoïade

What to Look For

When selecting vegetables, choose those that are firm and heavy for their size. Purchase zucchini and yellow squash when small, as they’re more likely to reveal tender, seedless flesh. Small vegetables will have crisp texture and a sweet flavor; they become softer and more bitter as they grow bigger. Look for smooth skins with no blemishes, and select dark-skinned zucchini.


Summer squash comes in many different forms, including the curved and bright yellow crookneck squash; the oblong and dark green zucchini; and the short, bulbous, scallop-edged pattypan. Not sure which variety to buy? Check out our summer squash glossary for a more detailed overview.
One bonus that comes with zucchini are squash blossoms, the brilliant yellow flowers still attached to immature zucchini when they turn up at the market in the late spring and early summer. The flowers can be sautéed and used in quesadillas, pastas or soups, or filled with cheese, then battered and deep-fried.


There’s no need to remove the delicate skin of summer squashes; their thin, flavorful skins do not require peeling. Simply rinse the squashes, trim the ends with a sharp knife, and then slice, chop, shred or spiralize as called for in your recipe.
Keep smaller squash whole or halved lengthwise for roasting; larger ones can be cut into slices or chunks for grilling or sautéing. If you plan to stuff them, cut yellow squashes in half lengthwise and hollow each one gently with a teaspoon. Some recipes call for salting zucchini, especially larger ones, to remove excess moisture. To do this, place zucchini in 
a colander, sprinkle with salt, and let stand for 15 to 30 minutes.


Store all types of squash, wrapped in paper towels, in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to three days. If you’re working with squash blossoms, know that they’re highly perishable and should be used within a day of purchasing.

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