It’s summertime and that means zucchini are everywhere.  And if your experience of this squash is something soggy and mushy or so overgrown you can use it as a baseball bat, please think again.  When you take the time to choose and cook them properly, zucchini can be the best of vegetables, alone and added to other dishes.  Rule #1 Pick zucchini that are small.  Lay one in your hand.  If extends beyond your fingertip to your wrist, it’s too big.  Rule #2  Only buy fresh zucchini.  The Farmers’ Market always has fresh ones, but if in doubt look closely.  If the peel is shriveled or there are any soft or brown spots, do not buy.  Rule #3  Cut them carefully.  Give them a quick wash, cut off both ends and then cut them vertically into 4 or 5 long strips, depending on the size–they should all be about the same thickness.  Rule #4  Fry them in olive oil in a large frying pan.  Use enough oil to more than coat the pan and lay in the zucchini side by side once the oil begins to shimmer.  Rule #5  Let them fry until they are truly brown, turning them one by one as that occurs.  Rule #6  Be patient.  This is the time when some people walk away, give up, say it’s a waste of time and abandon the whole process.   Rule #7  When they’re done on both sides, put them on a platter and sprinkle with Kosher or sea salt.  Rule #8  Eat them immediately.  Rule #9  Repeat the process throughout the season and enjoy them hot, warm or room temp—an excellent addition to any antipasto and great tossed with pasta and some Parmigiano Regiano.

Advertisements