Zucchini for the light kitchen
(aid) - In late summer there are zucchini from local cultivation. The Mediterranean vegetables with the mild nut aroma only became established in German kitchens in the 1970s. Zucchini is now so popular that every household consumes an average of one kilogram a year. Since it has no distinctive taste of its own, it can be excellently combined with other vegetables such as aubergine, tomato and paprika.
Zucchini tastes raw in a salad, cooked, fried and grilled. The fruits are also ideal for light cuisine, because due to the high water content they contain hardly any fat and just 20 kilocalories per 100 g. But they are rich in potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, vitamins A and C. A special delicacy are the yellow zucchini flowers, which are good for frying and filling.
The zucchini originally comes from Central America and only came to Europe with immigrants in the 17th century. The name is derived from the Italian word for pumpkin "zucca". Because the zucchini belongs to the pumpkin family and is botanically a berry. It does not have to be green and cucumber-shaped. The zucchini is available in many variations - in black, yellow and light green, also in the shape of a roller, mackerel and with white spots. Courgettes can be as huge as a pumpkin. With increasing size, however, the aroma is lost. Therefore, they are harvested semi-ripe with a length of 10 to 40 cm when the peel is still tender and soft.
When shopping, small fruits with a smooth skin that does not give way under pressure are the best choice. The zucchini is kept in the vegetable compartment of the fridge for up to two weeks. The vegetables do not need to be peeled or pitted before preparation. Simply wash under running water and remove the stem and flower base.
If the fruit tastes unusually bitter, it must not be eaten, warns the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment. Depending on the variety and growing conditions, the plant produces bitter substances that can affect health in higher concentrations. The rare cases of signs of intoxication in the past years were mostly caused by copied zucchini from the own garden. Heike Kreutz, aid