Posts Tagged ‘zucchini’

Posted on 1st June 2010

Grow | Zucchini & Squash


zucchini flower

Zucchinis and squash are closely related to not only each other, but also other members of the Cucurbit family, including cucumbers, rock melons and pumpkins.  It is probably this close relationship that has led to so much confusion over their names.  Zucchini, which means little marrow is simply a baby vegetable marrow, and if allowed to grow it would become what is known as such.  Squash, on the other hand, are called either summer or winter squash.  Summer squash are normally yellow or green, but sometimes white, and are also known as button squash.  Winter squash have thicker skin and are sometimes called pumpkins.  They can be either running or bush like, depending on the type.

All family members enjoy the warmth of summer and autumn, and need to be sown in spring once the soil has warmed up.  The soil is normally mounded to aid drainage, and enriched with plenty of manure.  Sow about 4 seeds per mound and thin to the best two after germination, which should take about a week. Grow each plant about 70cm apart and water regularly.  If possible, use liquid manure every fortnight.

Zucchini, which can be grey, black (or very dark green), or yellow, are also very popular picked with their flower still attached.  This can be stuffed and battered for a delicious treat.  Although fairly trouble free and relatively easily grown, all members of this plant group can be troubled with mildew.  Diluted milk (9 parts water, 1 milk) sprayed onto the foliage can help keep this under control.

baby zucchini

Photography by SUE STUBBS | Blog designed by RED PEPPER GRAPHICS

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Posted under grow
Posted on 1st June 2010

Harvest | Zucchini & Squash


Homegrown zucchini harvest

Zucchini and squash should be firm and have a shiny, unblemished skin. The delicate sweet flavour deteriorates when stored. Once picked, store in a ventilated bag in the refrigerator for 2-3days.

What to do with glut

  • Freeze:

Freezing vegetables with a high water content, like zucchini isn’t very successful, even if blanched first. The freezing process breaks down the structure leaving a watery, limp mess.

  • Preserve:

Pickled zucchini & squash

250g green zucchini, cut into batons
250g yellow zucchini, cut into batons
250g baby squash, quartered
4 cups white vinegar
½ cup white sugar
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 bay leaves
2 small red chillies, chopped
1tsp black peppercorns
¼ cup olive oil

1. Layer vegetables in sterilized jars, packing tightly.
2. Place vinegar, sugar, garlic, bay leaves, chilli, peppercorns and 4 cups of water in a large saucepan. Bring to boil. Pour over vegetables to completely cover. Drizzle over a little oil. Seal with lid. Turn jars upside down every 30 mins or so, until cool.
3. Store in a cool, dark place for 2 weeks before using. Refrigerate once opened.

pickled garden zucchini and squash

Photography by SUE STUBBS | Blog designed by RED PEPPER GRAPHICS

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Posted under harvest
Posted on 1st June 2010

Cook | Zucchini & Squash


Zucchini Cabonara recipe

Zucchini carbonara

400g spaghetti
1 tbsp olive oil
100g pancetta, chopped
4 green zucchini, shredded
3 egg yolks
½ cup cream
¾ cup grated parmesan, plus extra to serve

1. Cook spaghetti in a large saucepan of boiling salted water according to packet directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large frying pan on high. Cook pancetta for 2-3mins, until brown. Add zucchini and cook for 1 min, until well combined.
3. Mix together egg yolks, cream and parmesan. Add hot spaghetti to zucchini mixture and toss to combine. Remove from heat. Add egg mixture with reserved cooking liquid and toss to combine. Season well. Serve immediately topped with extra parmesan.

Serves 4

tip ….
Use a mandolin to help finely shred zucchini, alternately cut into a fine julienne.

try this ….
Steamed ricotta zucchini flowers

Mix together 250g fresh ricotta, ½ cup grated parmesan and 2 crushed garlic cloves. Carefully open flowers and remove stamens. Spoon ricotta into flower, twisting end to enclose. Cook 1 chopped onion in a little oil until soft. Add 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes and ½ cup of basil leaves. Cook for 15mins. Lay stuffed zucchini flowers on tomato sauce. Cover and simmer for 10mins, until flowers are firm and zucchini tender. Serve on pasta or alongside grilled steak or chicken.

Photography by SUE STUBBS | Blog designed by RED PEPPER GRAPHICS

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Posted under cook