In season from June to October, courgettes are a tuly versatile vegeble. We can buy them all year round, so why not make the most of them this autumn too? Here are 8 ideas to get more from your courgettes
1. . Keep ‘em raw
Courgettes don’t have to be cooked! Chop and serve as crudités with a spicy salsa dip or slice them thinly and toss in lemon zest, olive oil, chilli flakes and mint, for a stylish courgette carpaccio.
2. Buy the best
Choose firm courgettes with dark glossy skins and remember: the smaller the courgette, the bigger the flavour. They have thin and fragile skins, so don’t be put off by a few blemishes.
3. Match your flavours
Courgettes have a delicate taste so pair well with stronger flavours. Try them chopped and dry-fried with curry spices such as cumin and turmeric, or match them with punchy capers, anchovies and tangy sun-dried tomatoes.
4. Do the prep
Salting and rinsing your courgettes before you use them is the best way to avoid a mushy mess or diluted sauces, as it removes excess water. Chop your courgettes and place in a sieve over a large bowl or saucepan. Salt, and then leave for 20 minutes. Rinse, pat dry with kitchen paper and you’re good to go.
5. Up your 5-a-day
We all struggle to eat our 5-a-day, so boost your veggie intake by adding sliced courgette to Bolognese, lasagne or chilli con carne. Make sure you follow tip four, as it will help the courgettes absorb all the flavours in the sauce.
6. Try veggie pappardelle
If you’ve got a penchant for pasta but need a summery alternative then look no further than courgettes. Grate into chunky ribbons using a julienne peeler, discarding the seeds, and then fry in garlic or chilli oil until soft. Mix with a sauce of your choice and dig in.
7. Pick ’n’ mix
Courgettes come in all shapes and sizes. Regular green courgettes taste great in risottos, soups and gnocchi, while baby courgettes are delicious left whole and roasted with chilli and rosemary, until tender. Look out for globe courgettes too, available instore.
8. Eat the flowers
Typically found on swish restaurant menus, courgette flowers are a gastronomic delight. Try stuffing them with ricotta, then dip the flowers in tempura-style batter made with flour, salt and sparkling water, and deep-fry for a crispy finish.