Whimsical Veggies

zucchini - emi ito illustration I can't get enough of the beautiful and whimsical drawings of The Ellaphant in the RoomGrace Lee, and Jeannie Phan these days, especially their illustrations of food!  So, inspired by their illustrations, here's a drawing of some zucchini I found from another old Everyday Food issue (yes, I'm still decluttering!  It's a long process...for me at least).  I also learned some useful tips:

What are they?

Zucchini have a mild, almost sweet flavor and a tender flesh. Unlike winter squash, zucchini have a soft, edible skin and can even be eaten uncooked (try them in a salad).

How to buy

Look for zucchini that are firm and heavy for their size; the skin should be bright green and blemish-free. Because they are harvested earlier, smaller squash are more tender than larger ones and have thinner skins; choose squash that are less than eight inches long.

How to store

Refrigerate zucchini in a plastic bag for up to four days; do not wash until ready to use.

How to prepare

Depending on the cooking method that is used, zucchini may be sliced, cut into small pieces, or even shredded. To coarsely grate, use the large holes of a box grater.

Here are some fun zucchini recipes I came across when searching for the old Everyday Food issue on Martha Stewart.  The zucchini fritters and bacon and zucchini quiche look especially good to me.

Here's an old-standby zucchini recipe I came up with when I was in college that I still make today.  It's extremely simple but very tasty and great as a side dish!

Emi's Simple Sautéed Zucchini

Ingredients

1-2 zucchinis spray oil salt pepper garlic powder

Directions

Cut up 1-2 zucchinis into ~1/4 inch "coins"

Spray frying pan with Pam or other spray oil

Heat up frying pan on medium-high to high heat

Put zucchini coins into pan, making sure none overlap (you may have to do this a few times to cook all of the slices)

Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder

Once bottom side is browned, carefully flip over coins to brown the other side

Sprinkle with more salt, pepper, and garlic powder

Once the other side is browned, remove from frying pan and place into serving dish.

Voila!  You're done!