When it comes to zucchini, bigger isn’t better. Large zucchini (anything longer than 5 inches) are waterlogged, have less flavor and a shorter shelf life than zucchini at prime time. Zucchini (or you might even know them by their French name 'courgettes') are at their peak when they are about the size of a Cuban cigar; and if you can source them shortly after they’ve been picked with their delicate flower attached, you’re really in business!
Zucchini tend to fall under the ‘everyday’ category of vegetables for most people – a staple ingredient; or something that we feel we should have in our refrigerator on a year-round, weekly rotation. Here at Maude, we are rubbing our hands together, eager to remind our guests of the true beauty of a compact, in-season zucchini.
Over the past couple of months at Maude we’ve had some heavy-hitters stand in as the hero ingredient – the peppery radish, pungent spring garlic and June’s show-stopping cherry. Soft-skinned summer squashes like zucchini are made up of a high percentage of water and therefore have a mild flavour, which lends itself to a wide variety of appetizers, mains, sides and even desserts. It’s refreshing to welcome an amenable ingredient like zucchini into the mix in July, which readily absorbs and complements almost anything it is paired with.
Zucchini pairs exceptionally well with lemon, mint, eggs, feta cheese, Parmesan cheese, parsley, basil, oregano, pine nuts, walnuts, yogurt, tomato, eggplant, fish, anchovies, and more. Their flowers are often stuffed with cheese and anchovies and lightly fried or baked, but you could make life even simpler for yourself by roughly ripping the flowers and throwing them into a fresh salad, risotto, quesadillas... In July, we’ll be turning to some comforting classic ways to enjoy zucchini because classics are delicious, however, as usual we'll also be turning everything we currently know about zucchini on its head to take it to new heights and create new experiences.
Join us for our zucchini menu in July to get a taste of this subtly sweet summer vegetable in each course of the degustation. Reservations for July's Zucchini Menu open 1st June 2016.