How to Season Zucchini

by Ann Wolters

Prolific and easy to grow, zucchini is a type of summer squash with a shiny dark green skin. Zucchini is about 95 percent water and contains about 35 calories per cup before cooking. It is a good source of vitamins A and C and several B vitamins. It also contains potassium and manganese. Zucchini has a mild flavor, lending itself to use in a wide variety of side dishes, entrees and even desserts. Keep your zucchini healthy by adding moderate amounts of heart-healthy oils and limiting the amount of added salt.

Steam 1-inch slices of zucchini for about 6 minutes and then season them with the juice of a lime, 2 tbsp. of olive oil, 1 tbsp. of fresh thyme, a dash of cayenne pepper and salt and pepper to taste.

Sauté a diced yellow bell pepper, a clove of minced garlic and 2 tsp. finely minced fresh rosemary in 1 tbsp. of olive oil. After a few minutes, add 2 cups of sliced zucchini and salt and pepper to taste. Sauté until the zucchini is just tender, about 5 minutes more. Add 3 tsp. of freshly squeezed lemon juice and a dash of Tabasco sauce. Garnish the dish with a few chopped scallions.

Slow-cook 2 lbs. of ¼-inch slices of zucchini with a chopped green pepper and two chopped leeks, a clove of minced garlic and 4 peeled and chopped tomatoes. Add ½ tsp. of ground cumin, 2 tbsp. of canola oil and salt and pepper to taste prior to cooking for about 2 hours in a slow cooker.

Halve two medium zucchini lengthwise. Score the zucchini on the cut sides ¼ inch deep at 1-inch intervals. Mix 1/3 cup of olive oil, 2 tbsp. of fresh lemon juice, 2 tsp. of fresh minced oregano leaves, ¼ tsp. curry powder and 1 tsp. each of coarsely ground black pepper and onion powder. Brush the mix over the scored zucchini and grill over medium heat, about 12 minutes. The zucchini are ready when they are charred on both sides and just starting to soften.

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About the Author

Ann Wolters has been a writer, consultant and writing coach since 2008. Her work has appeared in "The Saint Paul Almanac" and in magazines such as "Inventing Tomorrow" and "Frontiers." She earned a Master of Arts in English as a second language from the University of Minnesota.