As a child I didn’t like courgettes, but like other foods I now like them. It must be a child vs adult thing because N won’t eat them. I can understand that as I prefer the outside to the inner watery bit. But the thing with courgette recipes is that each has them cooked to suit the dish, so you might be ok with them diced up small and the inside removed, or like them whole.
Courgette or Zucchini?
Courgette and zucchini are the same food. Zucchini being the Italian name where it was cultivated back in the 19th Century. Courgette is the french name also used in the UK
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Benefits of eating courgettes
While they don’t have huge health benefits, courgettes are low in calories, and have plenty of vitamin C as well as being anti-inflammatory. So they’re great to add to dishes as well as being versatile in their use.
I tend to include them in a lot of dishes, to add a bit of interest and to get more veg into us. They’re easy and fast to cook, and I have no issues eating them on keto or with my warfarin. So they’re a nobrainer for me.
As you can eat them raw or cooked, they’re great in summer to add to salads, and I even do courgetti
If you’re adding to dishes you don’t want to make them over-watery, so I sometimes slice them and lay them between 2 layers of kitchen towel for a bit to dry out.
If you want different ideas for how to eat courgettes, check out these courgette recipes.
Courgette recipes – ideas and tips
Mediterranean gratin – layers of slices of courgette with basil and tomato sauce (homemade or shop bought), grated cheese baked in the oven. It’s a lovely side dish with meat or fish.
Courgette mixed salad – peel courgette shavings and mixed lettuces and other veg top make a salad. Add crispy bacon or chargrilled chicken or halloumi. Drizzle over dressing or just a little lemon juice and ground pepper,
Courgette pizza bites – these make a good aperitif or party dish. Griddle or grill slices of courgette to get the griddled lined on. Add a little tomato and basil sauce (I always have chilled tomato and basil pasta sauce in my fridge to use as and when needed), sprinkle over some grated cheese and top with whatever other pizza topping you might like (e.g mini pepperoni pieces). Then grill to melt the cheese.
Stuffed courgettes – half lengthways and add to a shallow ovenproof dish. You can just ‘top’ them with the stuffing and cook as they are, or scoop out the flesh part with a teaspoon, fry off any veg you’re using with the diced flesh, then mixing your stuffing and adding it into the courgette ‘boats’ before cooking. Try italian flavours like sundried tomatoes, onion, garlic and pinenuts with breadcrumbs and topped with parmesan. Or for a meaty option, add sausagemeat to the onion, garlic, breadcrumbs and cheese. Drizzle a bit of oil over , then cook for around 20 minutes until cooked and lightly browned on top.
Lasagne – replace your lasagne sheets with diagonally sliced courgettes. I do this as an alternative for me to reduce my carbs down.
Courgette and tomato tart – use a puff pastry sheet, score a border, add a herbed cream cheese or ricotta (or even Boursin) as a layer on the base, then top with slices of tomato and courgette, then bake in the oven until the pastry is lightly brown and crispy.
Courgette fritters – grate the courgette then remove the excess water using a clean tea towel or muslin. Mix with ricotta, herbs, grated parmesan, flour and beaten egg, then fry each side in oil in a frying pan until golden brown. Delicious for a light lunch with salad and poached eggs. You can also add with mashed potato to make courgette croquettes, which are very similar.
Courgette sushi – take lengthways peelings of courgette, spread with cream cheese, add diced or thin lengths of pepper, avocado or cucumber, spring onion lengths, smoked salmon or a bit of crabmeat, and roll up, then stand them upright in a dish to help keep them in place until ready to serve.
Add to a ratatouille with aubergine, tomatoes, onions and peppers. Top with a fried or poached egg for a lovely brunch
Sausage and veg hash – fry off chopped veg of choice including courgettes (I use onions, peppers, courgettes and sometimes even a bit of cabbage). Add in cooked sliced sausages (great for using up leftovers), add chopped tomatoes, put in a shallow dish, top with some grated cheese and an egg for each person. Then bake until the eggs are cooked to your liking.
Bolognese – I always add extra veg to my bolognese to get more vegetables in but also help it go further. Courgettes goes in really well if diced, and even my son eats it with no complaints (the same as when I add it to macaroni cheese!).
Roasted vegetables – make a roasted veg side by having chunky slices of various veg, drizzle with olive oil and herbs, and roasting until the veg are tender.
Casseroles – any creamy casserole type dishes with chicken or pork go really well with courgettes added. I added them for my ham and vegetable crumble, and my Queso Chicken dish.
Zucchini bread – not bread at all, but cake. A great way to use up older courgette, made with oil, this loaf cake can be a really moist delicious cake. And no courgette taste which means children can’t really moan about having vegetables in a cake (although my OH does and won’t eat it. But then he also won’t eat banana bread. Strange!)
What courgette recipes do you make?
Like this post, try these.