Zucchini is an edible vegetable also known as courgette from the French or baby marrow in the British Isles regions. It is of the family of squash and pumpkins. It bears several names based on the region that uses it.
The Zucchini originated in the Americas and can grow to a length of 1 meter is left to mature to that length. Therefore the Zucchini is usually harvested when younger. Finger-sized squash is normally referred to as baby marrow.
It comes in a selection of sizes and thicknesses and an assortment of color variations. Generally, they are green or yellow with white or light green patterns running the length of the squash. The plant bears yellow flowers with five petals.
In the fields, they tend to grow as bush vines and fruits are ready for harvesting in about one and a half to two months. Fresh fruits are smooth and glossy in texture.
They are firm and should not contain mold or broken skin. They are available in the market all year round.
Culinary Preparation of Zucchini
Like tomatoes, Zucchini is a fruit that is consumed as a vegetable because of its savory nature and tendency to be cooked before consumption.
To prepare the plant for a meal, wash the fruits in running water to remove dirt and pesticide residue scrubbing lightly where necessary.
They can then be cut based on the recipe requirements. They can be sliced, shredded, grated, cubed, stripped in julienne, and much more ways.
The fresh tender fruit can be eaten raw mostly in salads. The larger fruit is normally cooked.
They can be cooked using various methods. You can boil them, fry, sear, steam, bake, roast, grill, stuff, and pretty much cook them in any way possible. They can be part of stew dishes, soup, sauce preparation, vegetable, and meat dishes as well. They can be used to enhance lentil dishes, potatoes, carrots, and other vegetables.
Zucchini provides only 17 calories per 100 grams and contains no cholesterol or saturated fats. It is a good source of dietary fiber and antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Zucchini is rich in B-complex vitamins including folates, pyridoxine, riboflavin, thiamin, and pantothenic acid. It is also rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K. It is a good source of potassium, iron, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc.