Courgette (also know as zucchini in American English) is popular and versatile summer squash. They are technically a fruit but are commonly used as a vegetable. They are a member of the cucurbit family and are related to cucumbers, pumpkins and melons.
The most common variety of courgette are usually 15cm in length and has dark green skin and pale green inside. You can also eat courgette flowers, they can be deep-fried, baked, or alternatively you can use them to decorate soups, salads and many other dishes.
- Pizza – Roasted courgettes make great pizza toppings, add them to a pizza with aubergine, onions, and red, yellow or green peppers.
- Pasta – Try swapping out pancetta for cubed courgettes for a vegetarian carbonara. You can also add courgette to lasagna or pasta bakes.
- Noodles – if you have a spiralizer you can make courgette noodles to replace traditional spaghetti. They can also be used in stir-fries, soups and casseroles. If you don’t have a spiralizer you can use a vegetable peeler to make courgette ribbons which can be used in the same way!
- Side Dishes – One of the most popular courgette side dishes has to be courgette fries (or chips). They are either fried battered or unbattered until golden brown and crispy. They are also commonly used in the Indian classic bhajis. Alternatively, simply toss them in some oil and some Mediterranean spices and roast them for about half an hour!
- Main Dishes – The days of meat being the centrepiece a dish are long gone, amazing things can be done with vegetables and courgettes are super versatile and can be added to almost any meal! Try them in fritters, quiche and frittatas and sere them with a side of salad! They are also a great addition to risottos, curry and soups
- Sweet Dishes – Courgettes can also be used in sweet dishes! They can be added to cakes, muffins and even brownies.
Courgettes and Marrows
Many people think that if a courgette is allowed to keep growing they turn into a marrow. This is not the case, they may be from the same family but they come from different plants.
If you let a courgette grow, all you will have is a large courgette!
Courgette Nutritional Information
There are about 21 calories per 100g of courgette. They contain lots of helpful vitamins, minerals. They are particularly rich in Vitamin A, Manganese, Vitamin C, Potassium, Magnesium, Vitamin K and Folate.
They are also rich in the antioxidants lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene which help your body fight free radicals. Free radicals cause cell damage which can lead to diseases such as cancer. Antioxidants can also help the health of eyes, skin, and heart.