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Learn to appreciate zucchini in all of its green glory

It may be growing over your side of the fence right now! But if you can’t steal it from your neighbour, it will be on sale at the grocer.

Zucchini is an underappreciated late summer vegetable. Look for one that is shiny, firm, vibrant in colour (whether light or dark green) and is free from spots, cuts or bruises.

  • Smaller zucchinis will be more tender than larger ones.
  • Zucchini holds a lot of water. To reduce the amount of water for crispier result in cooking or baking, salt diced or sliced zucchini and leave it for half an hour. Rinse the zucchini and squeeze dry with a paper towel to slightly dehydrate.
  • Don’t overcook zucchini and keep an eye on its skin since the edge just under the skin will turn bright green as it cooks to its tender-crisp point.
  • Grate zucchini using a large-hole box grater and add to meatloaf, pasta sauces and burgers. It will add moisture, nutrients and flavour.
  • Zucchini goes well with: garlic, basil, lemon, oregano, olive oil, parsley, pepper, salt, onion, thyme, vinegar, tomatoes, mushrooms, sweet bell peppers, corn, eggplant, cheeses such as feta, ricotta, and goat, salmon, eggs, shrimp, quinoa, rice, and even pecans and chocolate!

Zucchini Flavour Pairings

  • Zucchini + basil + Parmesan
  • Zucchini + red peppers + eggplant + onions + tomatoes
  • Zucchini + olive oil + salt + pepper + oregano
  • Zucchini + feta + lemon + olive oil

Theresa Albert is a Food Communications Specialist and private nutritionist in Toronto. She is @theresaalbert on twitter and found daily at

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