Adorable Zucchini: More Magic than the Pumpkin

Overview

During their prime season, zucchini seem to spring up overnight. What wasn't there yesterday is ready for picking at dawn today. They grow with such abandon that on a dewy morning one might well scream, "Heaven's to Betsy, what am I supposed to do with then?" Pick them, my dear, at once. And enjoy them.

Elizabeth David, the celebrated British gastronomic writer, championed the cause of baby zucchini so forcefully that growers actually bowed to her wishes. Her influence was ...

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Overview

During their prime season, zucchini seem to spring up overnight. What wasn't there yesterday is ready for picking at dawn today. They grow with such abandon that on a dewy morning one might well scream, "Heaven's to Betsy, what am I supposed to do with then?" Pick them, my dear, at once. And enjoy them.

Elizabeth David, the celebrated British gastronomic writer, championed the cause of baby zucchini so forcefully that growers actually bowed to her wishes. Her influence was equally felt by the public. In the Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson wrote that zucchini "only became popular in England after Elizabeth David in the 1950s and l960s had introduced them to readers of her books."

Grow Your Own was the dictum of Jane Grigson, another British cookbook writer. "Even if you haven't a garden, you can buy a couple of zucchini plants from a nurseryman and grow them in the backyard or on a balcony in a tub. Until you have grown them yourself and picked them at 2-6 inches in length you cannot imagine how delicious they can be. Put them straight into the pan with a knob of butter and seasoning. Jam on the lid with foil and stew gently for about five minutes. That is all you should do with so perfect and fresh a vegetable."

About the Author

Naomi Barry lives in Paris, spends part of each year in Italy and has written articles datelined from five continents, primarily for Gourmet and the International Herald Tribune. Books include Paris Personal, Paris à Table, Food alla Florentine and a forthcoming memoir of the world's greatest hotelier since Cesar Ritz.

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