I hope it isn't tough. I test mine before cooking by how easily it cuts. I use a very sharp knife and start at the narrow tip. If it cuts easily it will be fine. If I have to "saw" it, I just keep going up toward the stem until it does. You will soon learn just when to harvest it for your best uses. Did you know it is one of the most nutritious foods you can grow? Besides the traditional method of frying it, we like it steamed only enough to be tender. No "slimminess" that way.