From zucchini come crooknecks, find out just how to buy, store, cook, and enjoy this easy-to-love summer vegetable.

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Summer squash basics

For most summer squash, everything’s edible: the skin, seeds and also flesh.These room not root-cellar vegetables. Castle go bad quickly. Eat 'em as soon as you gain them!They’re quick-cookers—and can even be eaten raw (as opposed to winter squashes favor butternut or acorn squash, which need to be cook a long time).They’re very versatile: They have the right to be eaten as main courses, side dishes, salads, in Chinese dishes, Italian preparations, or curries.They’re great in wraps and also on height of pizzas.They have the right to be small in fast breads or muffins.You haven’t lived until you’ve had actually pickled summer squash.While they’re finest May v September in north America, they are easily accessible all year, in spite of being called “summer squash.”

 

Choosing, storing, and prepping summer squash 

At the store:

Pick the end small- come medium-size vegetables. Larger versions deserve to be fibrous and also seedy. Smaller sized — or also baby — vegetables often tend to it is in sweeter.

Avoid any kind of with squishy or spongy spots. Gashes will conveniently turn come rot; brown point out will conveniently overtake the vegetable, rendering it perfect for the compost pile.Look for a glossy light on the skin, no waxy or dull.At farmers’ markets, flower still attached come the vegetables are a crucial sign of freshness.At home:Refrigerate summer squash the minute you obtain them home.Set lock in strictly sealed plastic bags. Air circulation is actually your enemy.Keep the vegetables cold.Do no wash summer squashes before storage; the extra moisture have the right to turn to slime.Do not reduced them up prior to you keep them.Plan on six days’ storage for summer squashes from a farmers’ market, four days’ storage for those indigenous the grocery store store.Summer squashes can be frozen for lengthy storage. Cut the vegetables right into 1/2-inch-thick slices, blanch in salted water because that 2 minutes, transport to a key of ice cream water, dry thoroughly with record towels and freeze in plastic zipper bags.Prepping, cooking, and eating:You don’t need to cook summer squash. Every varieties have the right to be consumed raw.Shred raw summer squash for a taco filling — or together a substitute for shredded lettuce ~ above a burgess or a warm dog.Shred because that a slaw with radishes and jicama. (Squeeze moisture by the handful from the shredded vegetable so the doesn’t thin down the dressing.)Use a vegetable peeler to make long, vast noodles indigenous summer squash; serve raw tossed v pesto or peanut sauce.Substitute diced squash for celery in chicken, tuna, or egg salad.Grill special slices with sliced onion for straightforward side dish.Marinate slices in vinaigrette before grilling—or even roasting.Stir-fry cubed or shredded summer squash v your favorite protein (chicken, pork, shrimp, or beef), thinly sliced scallions, and your favourite stir-fry sauce. But don’t chef them as well long. They’ll give off too much moisture and also turn the food soupy.Squash blossoms

Many varieties of summer squash have actually edible flowers. Many of us understand these can be stuffed and also then oven-fried or pan-fried. But they can additionally be eaten raw — stuffed with herbed, lowfat ricotta cheese or simply shredded into salads.

The flower are extremely perishable. Use them the work you purchase them. If she lucky sufficient to discover squash blossoms, look for perky, open up blooms without any type of browning or withering. Store in a cold location like the fridge instantly without washing. (Wash right prior to you prepare them.)

Types of squash

Although there space dozens that cultivars and varietals, plenty of with minuscule differences, we've broken the large category the summer squash into six straightforward subsets.

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Chayote

Not very closely botanically concerned the other vegetables here, the chayote is a favorite in Southwestern and also Asian cooking. If you could meld cucumber, kohlrabi, and zucchini, you'd come up through its flavor. Chayotes are pale green with a properties "puckered grin" top top one end or puckered strips under the political parties of the vegetable. They deserve to be consumed raw, although the odor is a tad astringent. The skin is edible but will toughen during cooking; it can be peeled prior to cooking or even slipped turn off afterward. Some discover the large seed a nutty, contempt bitter delicacy once boiled or roasted; others like to execute without.

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Crookneck squash

Bottle-shaped with a bulbous end and also a lengthy neck, this summer squash is usual in our phibìc American supermarkets. It's sweet, aromatic, and virtually always yellow, return green and also even green-and-yellow striped varieties will show up in ~ farmers' markets. Yellow straightneck squashes room a slim variation v (yes) straight quite than crooked necks. Reduced crooknecks in fifty percent the long means and grill them like steaks!

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Globe squash

Sometimes referred to as "round zucchini," these pale or dark-green orbs can be very dense, through a thick, meaty flesh, prefer a drier zucchini. Globe squash deserve to be used precisely as zucchini; however, the round shape is perfect for slicing into even disks to it is in layered in casseroles or grilled together meatless entrées—or even as veggie "burger" patties!

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Pattypan squash

Squat, flying-saucer-shaped v a scalloped leaf (and for this reason sometimes referred to as "scaloppini squash"), this squash have the right to be white, yellow, green, striped, mottled, and also spotted. The flavor can be nutty and also even creamy, although the larger vegetables have the right to be somewhat bland. Stuff and roast them whole—or look for tiny persons that deserve to be salted and also served in a bowl choose olives or almonds. Or skewer them and also grill them together kebabs v your favourite barbecue sauce.

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Zephyr

This new hybrid (a mix that yellow crookneck, delicata, and also yellow acorn squash) provides a firm meat that's decidedly sweet. Zephyrs space two-toned, yellow on the neck and green top top the bulbous end; the neck can be directly or contempt crooked. Shot zephyrs through spicy preparations favor stir-fries or through chili rubs to comparison their numerous sweetness.

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Zucchini

Almost constantly green—although yellow and striped versions space available—this long, tubular vegetable is maybe the many versatile summer squash, long a staple in Italian kitchens yet now found in many North American homes, too. That is uniform shape allows you come get even rings and also chunks. Split a zucchini in half, ingredient it, and roast or grill for an elegant meal. You can likewise use zucchini raw as a replacement because that cucumber in just around any preparation; it'll give the dish a slightly more savory, earthy finish.