EncinoMom the California Lifestyle New Media Magazine.: How To Choose A Fresh Zucchini

Monday, August 8, 2011

How To Choose A Fresh Zucchini

The zucchini on the left was picked 3 weeks after the zuke on the right.

Freshness counts. I like to use the freshest produce possible when I cook. I grow many of my own vegetables and herbs. It's great to be able to step outside of the kitchen and pick fresh veggies for lunch or dinner, but things don't always work that way. Sometimes produce needs to be picked before I can cook it (that's the case with the zucchini on the right), sometimes it's produce from the market and I bought more before I prepared what I already had in the fridge! Either way, the fresh young things are mingled with the "veteran" produce and it's good to be able to tell which is which to avoid having to toss moldy oldies.

Here are three things I've noticed about aging zucchini:

1. Pitted skin
2. Withering stem
3. Uneven color - freckled or streaked skin

Next time you need to choose the freshest zuke in a flash, look for smooth, shiny, evenly colored, dark green skin and a stem that shows signs of moisture. If you're trying to use the oldest first, opt for the zucchini with a few freckles! Here's a recipe from our archive if you're up to your eyeballs in zucchini right now: What to make when the zucchini genie visits.

photo by: Lisa Keating

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