Courgettes really are a modern vegetable. Like most other veg now favoured in western diets they originate from Central/South America. Courgettes were bred and enjoyed for thousands of years by indigenous people in the Americas. They were introduced to Europe by Columbus about 500 years ago. However it wasn’t until the middle of the 20th century that the modern varieties started to become used across Europe. And it was only in the 1920’s that they started to make their way back to America in their new form.
This newly popularised veg is associated with Mediterranean cooking and indeed goes beautifully in spaghetti dishes. But it can equally be enjoyed in stir fry, stock pots, frittatas and as a pizza topping. For those on a raw diet this veg can almost be best enjoyed raw where its delicate flavours and subtly sweet undertones are enjoyed in salads, as batons in dips or, as Amelia likes, just munched whole!
Health benefits of courgette include their antioxidants, helping to prevent cancer, heart disease and the symptoms of ageing. They also contain carotene and vitamins C and A. Almost more useful is how filling they are without being stocked with carbohydrates. Instead they are a good source of pure water and low in calories.
So enjoy our rather beautiful courgettes this summer, whether raw or in one of the easy and tasty dishes below.
Easy Courgette Soup
- 1kg courgette
- 500g potatoes
- 2 small onions
- Vegetable stock
- 100g cheddar cheese
- Cornish sea Salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh or ground nutmeg
- Roughly chop the potatoes and put in the pan then cover with water, crumble the stock in and bring to the boil.
- Boil for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile chop the courgettes and put them in the pan to cook for 5 minutes.
- Chop the onions and place in the pan after the courgettes have cooked for 5 minutes.
- Blitz/blend the whole thing to a smooth pale green soup and add the cheese, salt pepper and nutmeg.
- Serve with some lightly buttered bread.
Instead of adding courgette to pasta dishes (very yummy) why not try making the courgette the star of the show?! Cook up your veggies and meatballs like usual in a tomato sauce then add the spiralised courgette just before serving. It only needs to cook for a couple of minutes. If your kitchen is free of such spiralising gadgets then a potato peeler will do a similar job.
Thai Courgette Noodles
Using your favourite Thai flavour (lemon or lime to go best with these courgettes) mix up a stir fry of veg and prawns or soya/broad beans. Chuck the sprialised/strips of courgettes with some lime or lemon juice and chilli a couple of minutes before serving so that they heat through.
Grilled courgettes as a side or main
This is a refreshing but filling side dish that can be put centre stage with some adjustments and its super easy. We love it with poached eggs and sautéed greens, let us know what you’ve tried it with. It can also be done on the BBQ, perfect for a summer’s evening!
- Courgettes (our stripey, yellow, pale and dark courgettes are perfect for making a serving plate of this dish.
- Half a courgette for a side or a whole one as a main per person
- Whole organic lemon (organic is best especially when using the peal)
- Sunflower oil
- Cornish sea salt
As a Main:
- Onion (1/4 to ½ per person)
- Parmesan or hard Cornish goats cheese
- Slice the courgettes in half long ways (half a courgette is enough for one side, one large courgette can be the main attraction).
- Scour the courgettes and rub some sunflower oil on the flat surface. Season with salt and pepper, a generous squeeze of lemon juice and some zest all over. Oven roast for 20ish minutes on 150ish degrees then grill for the last 5 minutes or so.
- Meanwhile you can chop up the garlic and onion and herbs if having it as a main. Lightly fry this up in some of the sunflower oil with salt and pepper. Add the chopped herbs at the end so that they don’t lose their essential oils which make them so aromatic.
- Serve up the courgettes, add the garlic/and onion mix and grate the cheese on top to serve.
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