VegBox Recipes

Courgette (Zucchini)

Courgette (Zucchini) Courgette (often called zucchini) is classified as a "summer squash". It's another one of those vegetables often tortured by ancient school dinners... Whether you've had some bad courgette experiences or just fancy giving them another go, here are some interesting facts and delicious recipes.

In Season?
The main season is from July to September.
Buy?
When firm and brightly coloured; firm and not rubbery. Dull-looking skin usually implies they were picked a while ago
Store?
Up to a week in a paper bag in the fridge – less if they are already cut or bruised.
Freeze?
No. Not even cooked, really. They go mushy. But courgette soup can be frozen and will help you deal with a glut.
Cook?
Wash and dry. Slice into 1 cm / ½ inch slices. Steam for 3-4 minutes or sauté until just soft. Use raw in salads.

More Courgette (Zucchini) Information

Courgette (Zucchini)The courgette can vary from intense deep green to bright yellow, and can range in size from carrot- to marrow-sized.

Courgettes just keep on growing on the plant if not picked, and there is often a glut of them each year. In some areas they end up weighing over 1 kg (2.2 lb), but size really isn’t everything with courgettes. The smaller ones taste much better!

This vegetable is rich source of both potassium and Vitamin A, as well as being low in calories.

The problem that veg box schemes and allotment growers alike have is that you always end up with a glut.

The courgettes need picking as soon as they're ripe, or they rot quickly on the plant - or grow marrow-sized. But they don't keep long once they're picked, either. So you either have to eat them all day for what feels like every meal, or find creative ways of preserving them. (See courgette soup!)

Geode Squash
And here's another member of the courgette family that you might come across - and what to do with it!


Find more videos like this on Veg Box Recipes Club

What To Do With Courgette (Zucchini)

Wash the courgette. There's no need to peel (unless it's not organic, in which case you might want to). You can slice them raw in sticks for crudités or slices for salads. To cook them, sauté them in a little butter and olive oil until just soft and lightly browned. They work well in tomato-based sauces.

If trying to get them past a fussy eater, courgette soup can be a good option.

For toddlers, you can even grate lightly sautéed courgette into fresh bread dough and make it into bread buns.

Little Known Courgette (Zucchini) Facts

  • In Italy, they don't just eat the courgette, they also eat the flowers. These are delicious in salads or even in tempura-style batter and deep-fried.


  • Courgettes (sometimes called zucchini) are classified as a summer squash and are a member of the cucumber family.


Courgette Soup
What? Courgette soup? Are you sure? Yes! Sceptical at first, but now converted. Amazingly simple and a great way of using and preserving a glut of courgettes.
So whether you've got courgettes in your veg box for the 5th week in a row, or a glut from your allotment's 15 courgette plants, this soup makes a tasty change.
Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 1 kg courgettes - any size and colour
  • 250g potatoes (suitable for mashing), peeled or scrubbed
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled & crushed
  • 1 medium onion, peeled & chopped
  • 30ml olive oil
  • 150g soft cheese (see note below for alternatives
  • Handful fresh chives, chopped
  • Handful fresh summer herbs of your choice, chopped
  • 1 ½ pints water (or mild-flavoured stock

Method
  1. Wash the courgettes and chop them into chunks. Cut the potatoes into cubes (smaller than 1 inch).

  2. Heat the oil gently in a large pan. Add the onion and garlic.

  3. Gently cook for about 5 minutes, to soften.

  4. Add the potatoes. Stirr. Cook gently, covered, for about 15 minutes, until about half-cooked.

  5. Add the courgettes and stir. Cook for about 5 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally.

  6. Add 1 1/2 pints of water - just enough to cover the contents of the pan. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.

  7. Remove from the heat and liquidise the soup.

  8. Add the Cheese & herbs.

  9. Season to taste with salt & pepper.

  10. Serve with fresh bread.

Cupboard-To-Table

About 40 minutes. (Most of this is waiting, so actual preparation time is about 15 minutes

Suggested Courgette Recipes

Andrew William’s Spicy Vegetable Lasagna with Peppers

Here is fellow food blogger Andrew Williams' recipe for Spicy Vegetable Lasagna with Peppers.

Andrew says:

"I think it’s safe to say that there’s more of an emphasis on Mexican that there is on Italian in this dish.

Ideally you should use habanero chilies to make this dish. The fruitiness of habanero chilies works really well in this dish. If you can’t get them then don’t worry as any chilies will do."

Aubergine & Courgette Bake

This is a great way of using up spare courgettes and aubergines, towards the end of the veg box's week. And it's so easy!

Aubergine & Courgette Stack

AUBERGINE (EGGPLANT), COURGETTE, TOMATO & MOZARELLA STACKS

These aubergine and courgette stacks are great served with rice. They're also a delicious, healthy and easy-to-make addition to the BBQ for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.

Baked Autumn Omelette

This baked omelette can be customised using so many different veggies, herbs and spices, and makes a fab lunch on its own, and a hearty dinner served as a side.

Courgette & Cracked Bulgar Wheat Salad

This delicious recipe makes the most of summer's courgettes (zucchini) and cracked bulgar wheat is a delicious, nutty companion to the creamy smoothness of the courgettes. It also works well with couscous or quinoa, if you prefer.

Courgette Soup

What? Courgette soup? Are you sure? Yes! Sceptical at first, but now converted. Amazingly simple and a great way of using and preserving a glut of courgettes.
So whether you've got courgettes in your veg box for the 5th week in a row, or a glut from your allotment's 15 courgette plants, this soup makes a tasty change.

Courgette With Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce

This recipe is a scrummy way of enjoying courgettes - particulary if you fancy a change. The sun-dried tomatoes and wholegrain mustard bring out the sunshine flavour of the summer veggies.

Early Courgette Salad

Early courgettes are packed with flavour and are a real treat, whereas later in the season you may be fed up with them! So here’s a recipe to help you enjoy them with in-season broccoli.

Fairtrade Chocolate Zucchini Cake

This recipe was submitted by TFryer, a member of the Ooffoo community, as an entry to the Recipe Prize Draw, with the comment:

"I am NOT a good baker. When I made this cake, my cheeky daughter exclaimed, "It tastes like someone else made it!."

Kids!

Jam-Packed Summer Vegetable Risotto

This ruby-red risotto not only looks stunning but tastes amazing AND it can be adapted to use whatever's in your box this week.

Jo Pratt’s Thai Pumpkin and Tenderstem® Red Curry

This recipe has been generously provided for us by Jo Pratt, courtesy of Tenderstem Broccoli..

Although Jo uses pumpkin, you could easily substitute in any Winter or Summer squash that happens to be in season.

Lemon Butter Courgettes

This is a delicious recipe for using early-season courgettes - packed with flavour.

Sebastien Durieu's Prize-Winning Carrot and Courgette Cake

Thanks to all the wonderful folks that submitted their recipes for the Dorling Kindersley "Grown in Britain" Prize Draw.

The recipe lucky enough to be pulled from the bag was submitted by Sebastien Durieu from Glasgow, who says:

"I am trying to eat seasonal food because is fresher and so tends to be tastier and more nutritious. It is also important to support my local economy and reduce the energy needed to transport the food. I feel I am making an effort to reconnect with nature's cycles and the passing of time. I have now started growing my own selection of seasonal vegetables on my patio at home."

Well we like the passion, we love the recipe and we really hope the book is a valuable addition to Sebastien's collection. Here's how to make yours!

Secret Vegetable Pasta

This pasta recipe is a great way of using up seasonal veg box leftovers. And it's a great way of sneaking in some extra veggies without any fussy eaters noticing! This version uses runner beans and courgettes.

Spicy Beanburgers with Courgette

This has turned out to be by far our favourite new recipe of the Summer season. It was so exciting to make our own burgers for the first time, and SO easy. These little fellas could be created with so many different ingredients added into the basic mix, depending on the season, although we’re struggling to think how they could get any tastier than in this version.

Thanks to our friend David_d from the Ooffoo community for suggesting we give them a go.

Spicy Beanburgers with Courgette

This has turned out to be by far our favourite new recipe of the Summer season. It was so exciting to make our own burgers for the first time, and SO easy. These little fellas could be created with so many different ingredients added into the basic mix, depending on the season, although we’re struggling to think how they could get any tastier than in this version.

Thanks to our friend David_d from the Ooffoo community for suggesting we give them a go.

Spring Pasta

Cooking spring / early summer vegetables lightly and serving them with pasta is a delicious way to enjoy the first signs of summer. This recipe is quick and easy and only uses one pan – always a bonus...

Spring Vegetable Fricassee

This dish is easy to make and browning the finished dish under a grill turns it into something special. You can use a variety of seasonal veggies, so try out whatever’s around. The vegetables suggested here are just a starting point!

Super-quick cheating pizza

This super-quick pizza recipe can be rustled up in less than 10 minutes and tastes delicious, either with fresh summer tomatoes or a quick can of Italian chopped tomatoes. Fresh spinach or rocket makes this an easy, quick, healthy treat. See the variations for options with kale, courgette (zucchini) or peas!

Thai Style Squash Curry

This curry is easy to make and pretty quick. Just make the paste, chop the veggies and cook it all in a wok (or large frying pan) with the coconut milk. Works well with pumpkin, too.

Three Bean Summer Soup

This is a delicious summer soup. Lighter than those of winter, it makes the most of the new season’s vegetables, whilst still filling you up and being wonderfully warming. You can use haricot beans or butter beans for this recipe, depending which you prefer. The main thing is to stick to what’s in season with the vegetables. That way they’ll be packed with flavour – and good for you too!

Vegetable Tempura

Although it's deep-fried, as long as the oil is hot enough and you drain the tempura after cooking, it's not that bad...! Quick, delicious and a nice change from sticking your veg in a curry!

Warm Summer Courgette & Runner Bean Salad With Artichoke Hearts

This delicious summer salad is best served warm. The courgettes and runner beans take on a buttery flavour, enhanced by the creaminess of the artichoke hearts.

Yellow Courgette And Mange Tout

Bring out the buttery flavour of these delicious spring and summer vegetables with this simple recipe.

Got one? Send us your recipe!

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