This golden zucchini was harvested from my backyard garden and weighed in at 15.7 oz. I prepared it with a simple salt and pepper seasoning, add a touch of fresh garlic and sauteed it in olive oil for a few minutes. Here are a few pointers about growing and harvesting zucchini.
Harvest golden zucchini when fruits are at least 4 inches long but before they grow to 10 inches long. Fruits 6 to 8 inches long with a diameter of between 1 1/2 and 3 inches deliver the tastiest table fare. A small, immature zucchini has a soft rind and the seeds are underdeveloped. The rind becomes tougher and the seeds grow harder as the fruit matures. The longer you wait to pick golden zucchini, the less palatable it will be.
Lift the plant’s leaves gently to check for zucchini, particularly those near the base of the plant. Fruits can be difficult to spot under dense foliage. Handle the plant carefully as leaf stalks beak easily. Look for bright, even, golden colored zucchini.
Grasp the golden zucchini by the fat end. Cut the stem about 1 inch above the fruit with a clean, sharp knife. Do not pull or twist the zucchini to avoid injuring the plant. Tugging may disturb and traumatize the roots.
Rinse freshly cut zucchini under cool running water and refrigerate immediately. While the fruits can remain edible for up to two weeks, it is best to use them within three to five days.