Celeste Varieur, R.N., will be joining Dr. Galati this week to discuss Zucchini, this weeks "food of the week". Celeste is a registered nurse from Rockland County, NY, has worked as a school nurse, and is the mother of three children. Understanding the importance of food and nutrition, she is an outspoken advocate of stressing the importance of home cooking, providing a wide range of varied foods, especially to your children.  One of her favorite, versatile foods to prepare is summer squash, or zucchini.

Varieties of summer squash include:

  • Zucchini: Probably the best known of the summer squashes, zucchini is a type of narrow squash that resembles a cucumber in size and shape. It has smooth, thin skin that is either green or yellow in color and can be striped or speckled. Its tender flesh is creamy white in color and features numerous seeds. Its edible flowers are often used in French and Italian cooking.
  • Crookneck and Straightneck Squash: Both of these summer squashes have creamy white flesh and generally have yellow skins, although sometimes you can find them with green skin. Crookneck squash is partially straight with a swan-like neck. It was genetically altered to produce its straightneck cousin that is shaped as its name implies.
  • Pattypan Squash: This small saucer-shaped squash features skin that can either be pale green or golden yellow in color. Its cream-colored flesh is more dense and slightly sweeter than that of zucchini.

Tips for Preparing Summer Squash:

Wash summer squash under cool running water and then cut off both ends. You can then proceed to cut it into the desired size and shape for the particular recipe.

A Few Quick Serving Ideas:

Sprinkle grated zucchini or other summer squash on top of salads and sandwiches.

Enjoy an easy to make ratatouille by healthy sautéing summer squash, onions, bell peppers, eggplant and tomatoes and then simmering the mixture in tomato sauce. Season to taste.

Serve raw summer squash with your favorite dips.

Add zucchini or other summer squash to your favorite muffin or bread recipe; decrease the amount of liquid in the recipe by about one-third to compensate

A number of zuchini recipes can be found here.