Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Versatile Zucchini

Here are a few fun tid-bits about those long green goddesses that are now gracing our gardens......

  • The word 'zucchini' comes from 'zucca' the Italian word for squash.
  • The culinary world treats the zucchini as a vegetable, but Botany treats it as an immature fruit, being the swollen ovary of the female zucchini flower.  (still like em?????)
  • The female flower is a golden blossom on the end of each growing zucchini.  The male flower grows directly on the stem of the plant and is slightly smaller than the female.  These flowers are edible.
  • In Mexico, the zucchini flower is used for a soup and also in the traditional quesadillas.
  • Zucchini is eaten in a variety of ways.....raw, steamed, boiled, grilled, stuffed, baked, barbecued, fried, or incorporated into recipes, such as the souffle, soups and stews.  It is baked into bread or cakes.  The flowers can be stuffed and are a delicacy when deep fried, as tempura.
  • It is low in calories and has useful amounts of folate (or Vitamin B9), potassium, Vitamin A, and manganese.  The darker the zucchini, the greater the nutrients and minerals.
  • Zucchini is fat free, saturated fat free, cholesterol free and low in sodium.
  • One way to control over-abundance is to harvest the flowers. 
  • They require bees for pollination.  In places of pollinator decline or the high use of pesticides, the zucchini will start to grow and then dries or rots.
This Zucchini Casserole recipe made its way into my Favorite Recipe Book, cuz it's one that I can always depend on for being delish!

3/4 c. diced carrots        )
1/2 c. onion                   )  Saute
6 T. butter or margarine )
Add to 1 medium-sized zucchini, diced.
Add :  1/2 c. sour cream, 1 can Cream of Chicken Soup, and 2-1/2 cups seasoned croutons.  Bake 350 degrees for 40 min.

Mmmm Mmmm good!