Zucchini is a delicious and versatile vegetable, especially when it's picked fresh from your garden or bought at a local farm stand. It stands on its own and it's also delicious sautéed with other vegetables in a stir fry or baked into zucchini bread. But if you don't have a garden or a nearby farm stand, it's essential to know how to pick the best out of the bunch when you're buying it at the grocery store so you get the best flavor and texture.
How do you know which zucchini to pick? We have a few tricks for you, but there's one telltale sign that a zucchini is the right one for your next batch of stuffed zucchini boats. Look for ones that still have a large portion of their stem attached — a surefire way to ensure the zucchini will stay fresher longer. This is even more important if you're not going to use them right away. The longer the stem, the better it is, so keep an eye out for those to ensure you get the best ones possible for storing or cooking.
Tips For Picking And Storing Zucchini
After you've spotted the zucchini with large stems still attached to them, you've got a few more steps before you put them in your cart. Size matters, so pick the small and medium zucchinis, because larger ones are usually more watery and lack flavor. Your next step is to check the color for bright, green skin that doesn't have any bruises or pits. The touch test is the final way to make sure your zucchini is good to go. Is it firm? Then it's the right one for cooking up some of the best zucchini recipes, especially if it's also passed those other tests.
Storing zucchini the right way is also important if you're not going to cook with them that day — otherwise, going through the effort of picking the freshest option at the store is nearly pointless. For starters, don't wash or cut your zucchini until you're ready to use it, because any extra moisture will cause the vegetables to go bad quicker. The best route is to store the whole vegetable in your fridge's crisper drawer to skirt any moisture. If you want to store it in a bag, leave it open to allow the vegetable to breathe and to prevent any moisture from building up. If you follow this guidance, zucchini can last refrigerated for up to two weeks.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.