How to choose the best zucchini and understand if they are good

from Alice Crespi And Gerardo Antonelli

«Courgettes, light and digestible, contain a good dose of vitamin C and B6. They are also a source of vitamin K, which plays a role in correct blood clotting, and of riboflavin (or vitamin B2), involved in the functioning of vision, in skin health and necessary for the metabolism of proteins “, says the doctor. Maria Paola Dall’Ertabiologist chef and food educator.

Not only that: «They contain potassium, folic acid and small traces of vitamin A, phosphorus, calcium and iron. Furthermore, zucchini have a diuretic, laxative, anti-inflammatory, detoxifying and purifying action. It is a vegetable that comes to our aid because it tastes practically neutral and, also due to its consistency, it lends itself to being proposed both raw and cooked. The ideal is not to cook them for a long time but to keep them crunchy », continues the expert, who explains how to prepare zucchini to enhance their taste and nutritional properties. Here is a roundup of homegrown varieties.


Mainly produced in Liguria, Lazio and Veneto, they are ideal as a side dish in fish dishes. They can be kept in the fridge for up to 10 days. After cutting them into cubes, you can sauté them in a pan with some chopped leaves of mint and spring onion. Add salt and pepper and simmer with a little oil for 10 minutes.

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Very delicate, they can be kept in the refrigerator at most for one day. Clean them well inside, where small insects often burrow. Fill them with feta or fresh cheese flavored with a finely chopped ginger or turmeric, then pass them quickly in the oven (max 15 minutes at 180 ° C).


Typical of Lazio and Lombardy, they can last 2 weeks in the fridge. Cut off the top and keep it aside. Empty the pulp, cut it into cubes and stew it in the oven with parsley, garlic, salt and pepper. When it’s ready, add some parmesan. Blanch the wrapper for 5 minutes, insert the cooked pulp, put the top back on and put it in the oven for 10 minutes at 180 ° C.


Typical of Liguria, they can be kept in the refrigerator for a week. Slice them into slices along with carrots and radishes e add them to a raw salad with chopped grapefruit. Season with a sauce of yogurt and finely chopped chives, salt and pepper.


It is the most common and cheapest variety: it can be kept in the refrigerator for about ten days. Perfect for the preparation of side dishes, it is particularly tasty raw. Slice it à la julienne very thin and season it with a vinaigrette of oil, lemon, salt and pepper.

(Picture of Pietro Tasca)

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