Hailing from the same family as cucumbers, melons and squash, if left to their own devices, courgettes grow into marrows. With uses as numerous as the different varieties they come in, here are 5 ways to serve up this staple veg.
1. Courgette Ribbon, Basil and Burrata Salad
Using a potato peeler, slice courgettes into long strips (a mix of tiger and yellow courgettes will make it look particularly enticing). Marinate in olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper for an hour. Arrange in a serving dish and top with chunks of burrata cheese, roughly chopped olives and a sprinkle of capers. Garnish with torn pieces of fresh basil and oregano.
2. Tortelloni with Courgettes, Peas and Bacon
Add oil to a pan and fry chopped garlic and bacon with a small pinch of dried chilli flakes. Add peas (fresh or frozen) with grated courgette to the pan. Cook fresh tortelloni separately and according to the packet’s instructions, (such as La Tua’s beetroot filled pasta) drain and add to the saucepan. Lightly mix the contents of the pan and serve with lemon zest and grated parmesan.
3. Courgette Relish
Grate 500g of onions and 1kg of courgettes - this might sound like a lot but then you get to enjoy your relish throughout the year! Sprinkle with salt and leave in the fridge overnight. Rinse this mix throughly and dry using paper towels or a tea towel. In a large pan, add a chopped thumb of fresh ginger, 1 tablespoon of mustard seeds, 1 tablespoon of turmeric, 300g sugar, a small chopped head of garlic, 2 tablespoons salt, 750ml white wine vinegar and 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, if you like a kick. Simmer for 5 mins then add the courgette and onion mix. Divide and store in sterilised jars, leaving for a least a day before eating.
4. Courgette Spelt Cake
Like carrots, courgette is a fine vegetable for a cake. Set the oven to 180C and line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper. Mix 200g butter with 200g sugar with 4 eggs. Add 150g grated courgette with 50g grated apple and 80g chopped walnuts and the zest of an orange. Sift in 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 200g spelt flour and a pinch of salt. Mix lightly until just combined. Pour the batter into the loaf tin and bake for one hour or until a knife comes out clean.
5. Courgette, Fava Bean and Beetroot Fritters
Grate 2 courgettes, with 1 beetroot and 1 carrot. Lightly fry a chopped onion in a pan with a crushed garlic clove and add the grated vegetables until softened. Combine in a blender a slice of bread, 1 can of Hodmedods fava beans, 1 egg yolk, fresh parsley, salt and pepper. Add the vegetable mix and form into 6 to 8 patties. Leave to set in the fridge for a minimum of 10 minutes, shallow fry for 3 minutes on each side. Serve with plain yoghurt mixed with chopped cucumber and mint.
See all courgette varieties on Farmdrop