Courgette need be a side vegetable no more – as these three recipes show, it can be the star of the plate.
Courgette, or “zucchini” as it’s called in some parts of the world, is one of the most popular vegetables used to compliment the main ingredient of plenty of dishes, though it very rarely seems to be the star of the show.
Fife Food Ambassador Christopher Totter, has seen to it that courgette is no longer pushed to the side, with these three recipes from his book titled after the versatile vegetable.
There’s something for everyone when it comes to courgettes, and whether you’re looking for a sweet treat or a savoury snack, here are three ways you can incorporate the Vitamin C-rich veggie into your regular diet.
Courgette spaghetti with avocado
- 4 medium courgettes
- 15 Brazil nuts
- 3 avocados
- 4 tbsp rapeseed oil
- Juice of a lime
- ½ tsp salt
- 20 button mushrooms
- You can cut the courgettes by hand, trim top and bottom then slice along the length carefully into four slices, then slice them into long strips.
- Some food processors have a blade for this but make sure the courgettes are firm other wise you may end up with a mush! I use a wonderful gadget called a Mandolin which does the job very quickly.
- Put the nuts in a food processor and blend for about 5 minutes, until smooth, add the avocados, 2 tbsp oil and salt, add a little cold water until a creamy consistency is achieved.
- Slice the mushrooms, heat the remaining oil in a large pan and gently sweat the mushrooms to soften, add the courgette spaghetti and stir to soften for a few minutes, pour on the sauce and mix to heat through.
- Don’t allow to get too hot as the avocado will turn bitter.
- Preparing courgettes in this manner gives you scope for all sorts of accompanying ideas, so do try this one and then use your imagination, lots of fresh herbs and perhaps some grated Anster cheese.
Chocolate courgette cake
- 180g plain chocolate 70%
- 200g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 125g caster sugar
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 170ml vegetable oil
- 225g peeled courgettes (peeled weight), grated
- 60g chopped walnuts
- Line a 20cm x 3 / 4 cm round tin. Preheat oven to 180C gas mark 4
- Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into a large bowl.
- Beat the eggs into the oil and then mix in to the dry ingredients, add the chocolate and the courgettes, stir to combine well.
- Add the nuts, pour into the tin and bake for about 50 minutes, leave in the tin for a few minutes before turning out to cool.
- This is a very simple cake in which the vegetable simply disappears and provides moisture. It is a very good way of getting green vegetables into children (or adults!) who don’t like them.
Courgette and halloumi cake with roast red peppers
Christopher says: “This is an unusual idea I got from lunch at the Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh, The red peppers provide a wonderful colour.”
- 300g courgette (grated weight)
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 250g halloumi cheese
- 75g plain flour
- Zest of a lemon
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp chopped dill
- Olive oil
- 4 red peppers
- Coarsely grate the courgettes, and squeeze out thoroughly, Combine with the onion, halloumi, flour, lemon zest, eggs and dill.
- Form into small patties and leave to firm up for half an hour. Fry in hot oil until golden brown on both sides.
- Meanwhile, for the red peppers, slash the skins with a sharp knife into about 4 or 5 strips top to bottom, rub in a little olive oil and roast for 20 minutes turning occasionally at 220C, gas 7.
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