Zucchini often carries fond memories of warm summer days and cookouts with family and friends. It’s no wonder, given how well grilled zucchini partners with all things barbecued. Yet, this member of the summer squash family is more versatile than you may have initially pegged it for.

Zucchini Feta Frittata

Here at Le Pain Quotidien, we love to bring zucchini into our seasonal specials during the summer. With the recent launch of our summer ’14 seasonal specials, we have not one, but two dishes featuring this nutritious squash! Get a taste in our Zucchini & Feta Frittata made with organic eggs, fresh herbs and tangy feta cheese. Zucchini also makes a surprising (and absolutely delicious) debut in our savory Goat Cheese & Zucchini Muffin.

zucchini goat cheese muffin

In case you didn’t know, zucchini packs some serious nutritional value. Don’t get hasty with peeling and cutting when it comes time for cooking, though! Its skin—the often speckled, dark green outside—as well as the squash’s seeds contain most of the vegetable’s valuable vitamins and minerals. The high dietary fiber content helps lower cholesterol, and the vegetable has also been found to improve prostate health. Zucchini is also rich in antioxidants and contains vitamins A, B, C, E and K.

When you come across this veggie at your local market, keep in mind its potential beyond the grill. Zucchini offers a great low-calorie alternative to pasta since it can be shredded into long strips. Pureed zucchini makes for a wonderful hot or chilled soup base and sautéed zucchini works brilliantly in vegetable quesadillas.

How do you typically prepare zucchini? What is your all-time favorite zucchini dish? Do you grow zucchinis in your home garden? Share all your zucchini tips and tricks with us in our comment section below!