Photo by Holly Brown
West Seattle food personality Holly Brown recommends Stuffed Squash Blossoms as a proper salute to summer's end.

Zucchini Brings Zexy Back to Your Next Dinner Party!

Food blogger Holly Brown shares her food writing in the Herald every other week

Editor's Note: This is part of a series of food posts by West Seattle's own Holly Brown whose food blog and WebTV show, The Brown Lounge has gained a national following.

By Holly Brown

Don’t let summer fade away without giving zucchini its due. Home gardeners know this squash is easy to grow and prolific, especially this time of year! Adventurous cooks know the delicate zucchini blossom is a delectable treat, especially when it's stuffed and fried. We'll show you how to cook with zucchini and its squash blossom this week on TheBrownLounge.com.

Whether you call it “Italian squash”, “Courgette”, or “Zucchini”, just be sure and call it for dinner! These glossy greens are too often understudies at the dinner table, but they can play a leading role as appetizer, side dish, main or dessert, depending on your casting and creativity. You may also be surprised to know that zucchini is not a vegetable at all. Zukes are technically fruit. Like other squash, they’re the swollen ovaries of the squash blossom, and members of the cucumber and melon family.

Zucchini are great greens to grow at home because they’re easy to grow, and they grow fast. But proceed with caution. They can get overgrown fast too. Harvest zukes before they reach full maturity. They're most tender and sweet when less than 8 inches long. Look for firm, heavy-feeling zucchini with unblemished bright and glossy skins. If they get bigger than this they can become tasteless and dry.

You can freeze fresh zucchini too. Grate the flesh using a box grater (without peeling). This way you’re ready to make zucchini bread anytime the mood strikes! Fresh or frozen, be sure to squeeze as much water out as possible before freezing and before baking. You’ll get a much moister result this way.

Don’t forget the sensuous golden squash blossom. It’s the female flower on the end of each emerging zucchini. The edible flower can be used to garnish a dish, but we prefer to stuff our squash blossoms with goat cheese and sauté them in herbs and breadcrumbs!

Squash blossoms should be used the day they're picked, or at the most the day after. Pick them when they’re closed or just slightly open and store them in the crisper section of your refrigerator until ready to use.

Make Zexy Zukes part of your next dinner party with some of our favorite zucchini delights! You can find these recipes and more at www.TheBrownLounge.com.

Stuffed Squash Blossoms
Zucchini Tart
Zexy Zucchini Bread

Here's to your next dinner party!
Cheers – Holly

Holly Brown is Publisher and WebTV host of TheBrownLounge.com

You can like her on Facebook here.

You can follow Holly on Twitter here.

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