Cocozelle is a type of Zucchini that is closer to a squash. It’s skin is medium-green with wide, light green or white stripes.
The flesh is tender and its flavour is considered more pronounced than many other zucchini. Choose ones that are less than 35cm (14 inches), ideally around 18 to 30 cm long.
Before eating or cooking, wash and cut off both ends of the squash. Unless the skin is bitter, you do not have to peel smaller, tender squash. The larger ones may need to be peeled. They can be used whole, grated, halved, or cut into cubes, strips or slices.
You can drain the zucchini if it has high water content – cut it into slices and arrange it in a strainer, colander or dish. Sprinkle each layer uniformly with salt and let the slices drain for 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse the slices under cold running water, then pat them dry and proceed with the recipe.
How to Cook Cocozelle
Cocozelle can be steamed, sautéed, fried, deep-fried, baked, battered or grilled. It can be eaten raw or added to soups.
- Grill for 5 to 20 minutes depending upon the size – smear halves with olive oil or butter and place flesh side down on the grill
- Season with a dry coating, such as crumbs, and fry until the crust is golden brown
- Pan-fry or deep fat-fry cubes or slices dipped batter
- Sauté or stir-fry cut pieces in olive oil until the pieces are tender.
- Steam halves, slices, or pieces on a steam rack in a large saucepan until tender, about 15 to 40 minutes.
- Use small raw cocozelle squash as an addition to crudités trays and salads
- Serve sliced raw tender cocozelle with a dip
- Slice thinly or shred, and add to appetizers, salads, or sandwiches
- Coat slices with butter, wrap in foil, then BBQ or bake
- Halve them, then stuff with a rice mixture and bake
- Bake slices or halves with butter and Parmesan cheese
- Add cubes to soups and vegetable braises
Next time you see this beautiful zucchini in your grocer shop or Asian grocery, please grab one and try it.