Saturday, July 12, 2008

I Bought a Zucchini....Now What?

Congrats on your new veggie purchase! Trying new food is always a good thing. Now I'm gonna show you why to do with it.

What you need:

  • 1 zucchini
  • a frying pan or grill pan

  • a steamer (bamboo is cheap) or
  • frying pan and a pot lid (for pan steaming)
  • tongs or spatula
  • olive oil (spray for less calories)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Step 1: Its ok if its long and green right?

Well yes and no. They also come in yellow! When you wash the squash, sometimes it's necessary to scrub it because it gets a little spiny in the field. Scrub it gently with a nail brush or the back of a CLEAN sponge, then chop off the top and bottom of the veggie. Slice it as thick of thin as you like. Remember: thicker takes longer to cook.

Step 2 and 3: Choice of prep

This is where we get into the "chose your own adventure" issues. Step 2 will teach you how to sauté or grill the squash and Step 3 will teach you how to steam it

Step 2: Wanna play "toss the zucchini?"

You guys are gross, you know that? One little innuendo and you're all gutter brained. Moving on. I know you already have your pan on medium heat with the oil inside right? No? Well stop gawking and do it. You can use Pam spray oil or about a table spoon of bottled olive oil.

"But Lexy," you ask smartly, "what other kind is there but bottled?"Listen up Sherlock. Oil comes in many different types: bottled, canned, mist pump and some are frozen in cubes. Don't think you can get cute with me yet Grasshopper. You're still a noob at this.

When your oil is heated add the zucchini slices but don't crowd the pan. Turn one over after a few minutes to see if its browning. If yes, turn the rest. If not, let it go but check on it every other minute. The zucchini is ready when its soft or your tongs go right through it.

Step 3: I got sssssssteam heat!

You can use the pan or a bamboo steamer for this. A bamboo steamer can be easily found in any home store or in any part of Chinatown on Canal St. For you non-New Yorkers that's: scary place below Times Square that has Asian people. Heat your pan on medium-high and have some water in it as well. Just enough to coat the bottom. If it evaporates, just add more. Add squash and put the lid on. Time it 3 to 5 minutes, checking now and then for fork tenderness.

If you have a grill pan (pan with grill ridges) then you can get that cool BBQ look. The method is the same as above.

With the steamer, I'm assuming you all have a working microwave. Space the zucchini comfortably in the steamer and nuke it for 3 to 5 minutes on medium high. If your microwave is really string you must use a lower setting or the steamer will burst into flames. Not that I'd know anything about that......-cough-

Step 4: What goes with this?
Well, you can toss this into a salad, drizzle some olive oil over it and serve with other steamed vegetables, chop up the slices and put them in an omelet, throw it into a pasta dish or just eat as is for a snack. I also have a chicken dish that this would go great with.

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