Did you know that squash could be divided into two categories? That's right, there are both summer squash and winter squash varieties, each with characteristics unique to their own group. Typically summer squash has thin, edible skin and seeds while winter varieties have inedible hard, tough skin and seeds. Common summer varieties include zucchini and the crook neck or straight neck squash (otherwise known as yellow squash).
Their high water content allows them to be grilled, sauteed, steamed or baked to create such tantalizing treats as grilled vegetable sandwiches, vegetable kabobs, or even colourful vegetable stir-fries.
As we head into summer, incorporate squash into your favourite recipes to add colour and texture. Let's take a look at how to pick and prepare a favourite summer vegetable - summer squash.
- Zucchini is available in green or yellow varieties. They taste similar.
- Select a firm, undamaged zucchini with glossy skin. Dull-skinned zucchini lacks freshness, and those with spots have been damaged by exposure to cold temperatures.
- Choose a zucchini that is roughly 6-8 inches in length. If overly large the zucchini will be tough and if too small it tends to lack flavour.
- Store zucchini in a perforated plastic bag, in the refrigerator for no more than 5 to 7 days.
- Handle with care as their skin can become bruised and damaged very easily.
- Wash just before preparation.
- With a sharp knife, carefully trim off both ends and then prepare as recipe directs.
- When slicing, keep the slices the same width so that they cook evenly.
- Crinkle-cut zucchini into wavy vegetable chips to your vegetable platter this summer. The waves from the crinkle-cutting will hold extra dip and avoid the dreaded "double dippers". Try using Kraft Dressing as a dip!