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Zucchini recipes and tips: How to use this versatile vegetable all summer long

Summer is a great time to enjoy zucchini because it's eaten so many ways. Read on for advice on shopping, prepping and cooking zucchini.
/ Source: TODAY

Zucchini is as versatile as it is popular. Enjoy it raw in salads, sautéed, grilled, baked or fried. Zucchini can even be shredded and used to make muffins, cakes or breads. Read on for advice on shopping, prepping and cooking zucchini.

Lauren Salkeld

How to shop for zucchini

  • Zucchini comes in different colors, including dark and light green and yellow. Whatever the hue, seek out vibrantly colored squash with shiny, unblemished skin.
  • Larger zucchini can be watery or bitter, so look for small to medium ones that are no more than 8 inches long.
  • Make sure zucchini is firm, especially near the stems.

Check out our summer produce guide for more tips and recipes

How to store zucchini

  • Zucchini should be kept in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator and will last for 3-5 days. Avoid storing zucchini in plastic, which can trap moisture and make the skin slimy. Either leave zucchini loose or place it in a paper bag.

How to prepare zucchini

  • Zucchini skin can be sticky or slimy, so be sure to thoroughly wash it before using.
  • With a few exceptions (stuffing and baking zucchini halves, for example), cut the stem off zucchini and trim about ¼ inch off the opposite end.

Zucchini Recipes

Grilled salmon and zucchini skewers, watermelon limeade for a light summer meal

Zucchini noodles with pesto and cheesy zucchini rice

Chocolate zucchini bread

Roasted chicken thighs over barley-zucchini risotto

Zucchini, tomatoes and goat cheese breakfast burrito

Another easy way to enjoy fresh zucchini

Sautéed Zucchini and Tomatoes

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add 2-3 minced garlic cloves and sauté until softened, about 2 minutes. Add 2 medium zucchini, cut into chunks, and sauté 4-5 minutes. Add about 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved, and sauté until the zucchini is tender but still crisp, 2-3 minutes. Add torn fresh mozzarella and basil and season to taste with salt and pepper.