In Italy zucchini season starts early and by the first of July it’s in full swing. There are several varieties of zucchini here including the dark green kind we mostly find in the States. But here in Tuscany, the one I see in markets t is a light green variety. I can find them as small as an index finger, or as large as a cucumber. Most arrive in the market with their blossoms attached but in an early stage of wilting. For those who intend to cook their zucchini blossoms (they are usually deep fried), you can buy bouquets of the bright yellow and orange flowers.
My favorite approach to zucchini is a simple one. For one pound of zucchini, I first wash them well in cold water and cut off the blossoms. Then, using a single blade mandolin, or knife, I slice them super thin, toss them in a colander with salt, and let them sit and hour or more. To cook, I combine 2 tablespoons olive oil with a clove of garlic in a fry pan over medium low heat. When the garlic begins to brown, I remove it, add the zucchini and cook, stirring frequently, for 5-10 minutes until they’re tender and deliciously ready to eat. Over the next few weeks I will be adding more zucchini recipes to enjoy all summer long.