Spring peas and asparagus are done, and now we’re getting into summer produce. Your shopping basket should be filling up with telephone box red tomatoes, tart gooseberries, plump raspberries and – king of the green veg – courgettes.
Left to grow too big, they become marrow-like with watery, taste-free flesh, but get ’em when they’re small, firm and brightly skinned and there’s all sorts you can do with them…
1. Courgette fries
These are essentially healthy chips – especially if you bake them, but no judgement if you’re keen to deep-fry for extra crunch. The only issue with these guys is the courgette flesh gets really hot, so mind your tongue.
2. Courgette fritters
A really quick and easy supper, you can also pack in more flavour with anything you have to hand – feta, peas, lemon zest, Parmesan, broad beans, carrot. Just whip up a basic pancake mix then grate in your courgettes (and any extras), shape into patties and fry until crisp. Serve with a sweet chilli dip like this BBC Good Food recipe.
3. Stuffed and deep-fried courgette flowers
Fiddly but spectacular, courgette flowers are great stuffed with delicate fillings – cream cheese, mozzarella, ricotta, crab, or whatever you have that’s light and worth battering in tempura.
4. Griddled with lemon
Courgettes really come into their own when chargrilled. Brush with oil and whack a couple on the barbecue (or a griddle pan) and leave for two minutes or so, to get those lovely grill marks. They’re ready when soft in the middle and golden on the outside. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice, and serve.
5. Courgette cake
Along with beetroot brownies and carrot cake, courgettes make a decent case for veggies in sweet treats, particularly when there’s lemon-scented icing involved.
6. Raw courgette salad
You can in fact eat courgettes raw, if finely sliced into slithers (use a sharp knife or mandolin). Dress them in lemon juice, oil and add herbs (basil works well) and a hit of chilli, for a super fresh and summery salad.
- Press Association