Zucchini (2 cups)
Zucchini is a classic summer squash. Today it is easily the most popularly grown and consumed of all summer squashes. Zucchini can also be harvested at varying stages of maturity, when petite and at its baby stage of growth or when slightly more mature and medium sized. Zucchini squash are mild in flavor, extremely versatile and can be prepared in sweet or savory recipes. Grate Zucchini and add squash to muffin or bread batter, or use to make vegetable pancakes and fritters. Thinly sliced Zucchini works well in salads or as part of a fresh (raw) appetizer such as vegetarian carpaccio. When sliced thinly lengthwise Zucchini squash can be an excellent substitute for conventional noodles in pasta preparations. Sliced Zucchini squash can be grilled, steamed, sautéed or battered and fried. Larger more mature squashes are perfectly sized for hollowing and baking when stuffed with meats, cheeses and grains. The Zucchini blossoms additionally can be stuffed with soft cheeses and herbs then battered and fried. The flavor and texture of Zucchini will complement a variety of ingredients such as tomatoes, garlic, corn, eggplant, fresh herbs such as parsley, basil and oregano, olive oil, pine nuts, eggs, citrus juice, sausage, roasted chicken and cheeses such as ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan.