Yellow zucchini (actually Golden zucchini, officially) look better and taste better than green zucchini, in my opinion. You rarely see these available at the markets so last Saturday I was thrilled to see a vendor with stuff from Baguio with a small pile (think 12 pieces) of golden zucchini. I bought most of her pile and decided they would also end up in my Eyeball antipasto platter as thin slices that were grilled over a charcoal fire. A member of the large summer squash family (Cucurbita pepo) along with green zucchini, these squashes have thin skins and creamy white interior that is more substantial than cucumbersâ€¦ their flavor is described as being sometimes nutty and buttery, according to Elizabeth Schneider in her brilliant book Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini. I find that golden zucchini are best when smallâ€¦ if they are allowed to get too big they can be mushy and less appealing. What is really stunning is their skin color – when unblemished, they look almost unnatural!
There are tons of ways to enjoy this vegetableâ€¦ you can slice them lengthwise and brush with olive oil, grill and eat hot or at room temperature. You can slice them into coin like shapes and sautÃ© with butter, salt and pepper. And I once saw an interesting recipe (though have yet to try it) where the yellow zucchini was sautÃ©ed with roasted tomatoes and tossed with pasta and herbs. They can also be mixed with tomatoes and onions and baked in the oven. Itâ€™s funny how they are so â€œrareâ€ in local markets when they are as easy to grow as the more commonly available green zucchiniâ€¦perhaps the farmers just have to be convinced that there is a market for these squashesâ€¦so make sure you buy some the next time you see them in the market!