Like its relatives cucumbers and squashes, the courgette or zucchini has its origins in the Americas but is thought to have been developed in Italy in the 19th century. It has spread widely since and is easy to grow in the UK, and is especially productive in rich soil during a warm, dryish summer. Indeed, for many growers it can be a menace, turning into marrow zeppelins the moment you turn your back. So it’s good to have a wide variety of recipes to make use of it fresh (it doesn’t freeze well) and young.
1. Finger-long baby courgettes are utterly delicious fried or steamed in butter and pepper with a lid over them for
about five minutes.
2. Grated courgettes are a perfect addition to creamy or tomato pasta sauces, especially a carbonara.
3. Courgette chips are a favourite of the BBC Countryfile Magazine team. Slice courgettes into ‘chips’, coat in milk and then seasoned flour, before frying in oil in a wok until brown. Delicious with dips such as hummus or tzatziki.
4. Use a peeler to create long ribbons that cook in seconds and can be eaten like pasta.