Itsy bitsy teeny weeny (really very green) zucchini

First zucchiniLast night, determined not to let another baby zuke fall victim to rot, I asked Steve if he thought there were any zucchini left to cut off the plant. He replied that they weren’t ready yet.

“But your Mom said we should take them as soon as the flower shrivels up and starts to drop off,” I said.

“They’re not ready.”

Undeterred, I wandered out to check on the one I’d had my eye on. Sure enough, its flower was brown and mushy, but the four-inch vegetable looked good to go. I snipped it off with a pair of scissors and carried it inside. In the interim, my parents had called, and Steve reported to them, as I came back into the kitchen, that I had just harvested the smallest zucchini he had ever seen.

First zucchini, cut upI harvested some basil, too, and sautéed the whole mess together for a few minutes. A little kosher salt sprinkled over the top, and we had a delicious and healthy zucchini snack.

“Don’t eat it too quickly,” I said, as I served Steve approximately three tablespoons of food. “I don’t know when the next one’s going to be ready to pick.”

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15 Responses to “Itsy bitsy teeny weeny (really very green) zucchini”


  1. 1 kalyn June 27, 2006 at 7:00 am

    I don’t really understand why the first few squash or zucchini on the plant seem to shrivel up and fall off, but it happens to me every year. Don’t worry, there will be plenty later in the season!

  2. 2 steven June 27, 2006 at 7:57 am

    I’m in the “pick them small” club. Zukes and other soft squashes have a better texture and flavor when they’re picked small. The worst thing in the world is a yellow crookneck squash from California in an East Coast store since they need to let it grow until the skin hardens enough for shipping, which is basically when it’s a gourd..bleech.

  3. 3 Maggie June 27, 2006 at 10:05 am

    The next one will be ready to pick in five minutes. :) Good call. If you had waited to pick your 4 incher it would have turned into a baseball bat. I like to pick them when they are even smaller.

  4. 4 Carol June 27, 2006 at 9:13 pm

    I’ll be picking very small zucchini while the flower is still on it. I have a friend who likes sauted squash blossoms, and I promised to give him some this year.

  5. 5 inadvertentgardener June 28, 2006 at 6:29 am

    Kalyn, it’s all a matter of trusting the plant, eh? I’m so ready to have some real yield out of the garden…I’m impatient!

    Steven, I totally agree — the smaller, younger ones are the ones I have always tried to buy at the grocery store, so I figured I’d like those better off my own plant, too.

    Maggie, I had a chuckle at your comment. In fact, we have another one ready to eat tonight — it’s going to be part of dinner!

    Carol, do you bread the flowers before sauteeing them? How do you usually fix them?

  6. 6 Denise June 28, 2006 at 8:11 am

    You are to funny! Just wait until the zucchini’s go into overdrive! LOL

  7. 7 Steve June 28, 2006 at 2:00 pm

    I think I am being misquoted…my memory is that I was supportive of you in your harvesting decisions.

  8. 8 inadvertentgardener June 28, 2006 at 7:15 pm

    Denise, I was out there looking around tonight, noticing that we are almost due for a baby zuke explosion. I told Steve (AKA The Misquoted) that I think we’ll have at least three to enjoy at some point early in the weekend. Can’t wait!

    And I will say this — Steve was very supportive of the eating of the zucchini. I still stand by my assertion that he wasn’t entirely sure it was ready to pick yet, though.

    :-) Genie

  9. 9 Lizzie June 29, 2006 at 9:40 am

    I love transatlantic differences in the language.
    I only recently found out that “zucchini” are in fact courgettes (well, that’s what they’re called this side of the pond, at least) … I had always wondered! If you run out of recipe ideas for them, grate one, degorge with salt for 20mins, squeeze out the liquid with kitchen roll, then mix with beaten egg and black pepper and fry gently for a yummy courgette fritter. Well, in your case, a zucchini fritter. It’s more impressive on the tastebuds than it sounds, honest!

  10. 10 orval August 2, 2006 at 10:12 am

    They grow better if you don’t trim those huge leaves-apparently they like the shade they get from the leaves. I let my zucchini grow large & then make a great zucchini-squash soup. Make a large pot & freeze individual servings. Freezing doesn’t hurt the soup.

  11. 11 inadvertentgardener August 2, 2006 at 6:22 pm

    Orval, zucchini soup is delicious! Unfortunately…I’m fresh out of zucchini for the season…

  12. 12 BEV July 19, 2007 at 12:39 pm

    PLEASE HELP, MY ZUCCHINI ALWAYS FLOWERS BUT THE FLOWER FALLS OFF AND I GET NO VEGETABLE GROWING ON IT . THIS HAS HAPPEND 3 YEARS IN A ROW. I ALWAYS MOVE TO DIFFERENT LOCATIONS EACH YEAR AND STILL NOTHING.

    ANY SUGGESTIONS,

  13. 13 BEV July 24, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    i GUESS THIS SITE DOESNT EXIST ANYMORE, I DID NOT GET ANY REPLY TO MY PROBLEM ON ZUCHINNI

  14. 14 inadvertentgardener July 24, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    Bev, the site still exists! But I’ll tell you…I’m not going to be much of a good resource for hot tips on gardening…I spend most of my time in the garden making one mistake after another! I would recommend that you try your local extension service — I bet they have some Master Gardeners available who could answer your question.

  15. 15 Paleo cookbook February 29, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    Tremendous issues here. I am very happy to see your article.
    Thanks a lot and I’m having a look forward to touch you.
    Will you please drop me a mail?


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