Zucchini will stay fresh for four or five days if you store it in a plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper drawer. Do not wash the zucchini until just before you are ready to use it. If you notice the zucchini wilting, you should use it immediately. Softness is a strong sign of deterioration. Cooked zucchini will stay good for up to two days in a covered container in the refrigerator.
If you’ve got more fresh zucchini than you can use in a few days, you can freeze it for later use. To freeze, slice the zucchini into rounds, blanch for two minutes, plunge into cold water, drain, and then seal it in airtight containers or freezer bags. In addition to rounds, it can be frozen in other formats, included shredded or cut into long zucchini noodles. Don’t cut it too small or it will defrost into mush. Frozen zucchini will keep for 10 months to a year.
Zucchini is a nutrition star. It is low in calories, with only 33 in one medium-size zucchini, and a good source of potassium, vitamins A, B6, and C, and fiber. It is tasty raw and is quite versatile in the kitchen.
HOW TO USE
This vegetable shines when it’s just breaded and fried or sauteed. Adding Parmesan cheese to the breadcrumbs for breading or just sprinkling it on top after it’s cooked turns up the taste quotient. But there are many other ways to use it. Zucchini bread is a way to make something sweet nutritious, and there are many variations on the recipe for it. Zucchini lasagna is a favorite of vegetarians and anyone else who loves that essential Italian dish but wants to cut down on red meat. Or add zucchini and bell peppers to corn chowder for a healthy twist on that recipe. Use fresh corn, peppers, and zucchini for a savory late summer treat.