Courgettes are a deliciously versatile vegetable, here are 9 surprising ways to make them for meals or snacks
Courgettes or zucchini: whatever you call them, they’re delicious vegetables especially when cut from the plant and immediately fried in a little oil and butter. If you grow your own, or know somebody who does, then you’re probably aware of the feast/famine or London bus nature of the courgettes: when in season, it’s a struggle to keep up with the glut.
What to do? They can’t be frozen as they turn into a tasteless mush. So here are some ideas to up your courgette game.
Fennel Courgette Salad with Smoked Scamorza & Chilli
To start with, a simple salad. Cutting ribbons of courgette with a vegetable peeler makes a great base for a light and tasty salad.
Courgette & Red Lentil Daal
I always find that a bowl of daal is a supremely comforting dish: filling, frugal and endlessly adaptable. This version is made with red lentils, is lightly spiced and has a courgette cooked in with it at the end. Simply add some extra stock to any leftovers to make a delicious soup the next day.
Refrigerator Zucchini Pickles
While preserving courgettes is difficult, they can be made into a pickle that will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks. I love the idea of a sharp pickle; just the thing to accompany a summer barbecue.
A spiralizer—a device that cuts vegetables into spirals, works well with courgettes. If you don’t have one, you julienne them—as in, cut them into matchsticks. Quickly sauté in some hot oil and top with thin slices of parmesan, as here, for a great looking side dish!
Top the pastry with courgettes and extra ingredients of your choice. It makes for a great centrepiece for a meal. Using pre-made pastry means minimal preparation time for excellent results in minutes.
Easy roasted ratatouille
A list of courgette recipes wouldn’t be complete without ratatouille. This take on the combination of tomato, courgette and aubergine is baked in the oven to give a delicious dish with less fuss.
Spinach, Coconut and Zucchini Soup
Courgettes’ high water content make them a great starting point for a soup, and this vibrant example adds spinach for extra green zing. It can be spiced with lime, lemongrass and chili for an Asian version, or look a little to the West for some Indian flavours. Practical, tasty and versatile. Delicious!
Spring Vegetable Pasta Salad
Adding courgettes to a pasta salad really lifts the dish. Sliced thinly, they can be eaten raw to add a delicious crunchy texture, as well as the attractive fresh colours. This salad also uses asparagus tips, broad beans, and fresh basil for a really vibrant, green feast.
Cheesy Courgette Omelette
An omelette with extra courgettes. I can imagine how delicious the rich, savoury flavours of eggs and cheese contrast with the fresh tasting courgette slices. This dish takes only a few minutes to cook, and sounds like a superbly tasty and healthy one-pan meal in a hurry.
Helen Best-Shaw, is a freelance food & travel writer, recipe developer & photographer. She has been blogging at Fuss Free Flavours for over 10 years.