In the kitchen
This is a crop where freshness really counts in terms of flavour. They’ll store for a week in the fridge but try to eat them as early as you can.
Prep & Cooking tips
They’ll need a swift wash before using and you’ll need to cut the tip from each end. They’ll yield to the bluntest of blades, so slice or dice with abandon. You can slice them into long, thin, even ribbons with a swivel top peeler. Just drag it from top to toe and rotate after every few strips. These are perfect for griddling or serving raw in salads.
Sliced or diced they’ll roast, griddle and fry a treat. They’ll even be happy cooked slow and low to produce an unctuous sauce for pasta. When perfectly in season try serving them raw, thinly sliced and dressed with a little lemon juice, chilli, salt and olive oil.
Raw Finely slice or peel into thin strips, and lightly dress with lemon juice and olive oil. A swivel top peeler is perfect for this, just drag it from top to toe and rotate the courgette after every few strips. Makes a great addition to a well-dressed salad. Try grating into slaws and tabbouleh, too.
Griddle Peel or slice into hearty strips and cook for a few mins on a griddle or BBQ until marked. Serve as a side dressed with feta, chilli and parsley. Add to the toppings of your favourite pizza or tart. Mix into a robust salad for a fresh and smoky taste.
Slow cook Slice very finely and cook slowly in a pan with chopped garlic and olive oil for about 40 mins until everything has collapsed into a thick unctuous sauce. Season with lemon juice, salt, pepper and parmesan. Stir through hot pasta, fold into a plump omelette, spoon onto crisp bruschetta, stir into a risotto or lengthen into a soup with a dash of stock.
Bake a cake Try using some grated courgettes in place of carrots in a traditional carrot cake recipe. Add some to a fruit cake mix or even in a chocolate cake. Although it does impart a mild flavour, its real function is to add moisture and body to the cake, along with just a whiff of worthiness. Try this recipe for Courgette, lemon and poppy seed cake.
Goes well with
Cheese (Feta, Goat's cheese, Halloumi, Mozzarella, Ricotta)
Herbs (Basil, Coriander, Dill, Mint)
Mediterranean flavours (Capers, Garlic, Olives, Pine nuts)
Mediterranean veg (Aubergine, Peppers, Red onion)
Peppery leaves (Mustard leaves, Watercress, Rocket)
Pork (Especially bacon and pancetta)
Indian and Mexican spices
Courgette and sumac fries
Serves: 4 Total time: 20 min
Chocolate courgette cake
Serves: 6 Total time: 55 min
Courgettes in batter
Serves: 5 Total time: 25 min
Ricotta and basil courgettes with quinoa tabbouleh
Serves: 2 Total time: 40 min
Burrata with oven-dried tomatoes, charred courgettes & pesto
Serves: 2 Total time: 30 min
Slow cooked courgette pasta
Serves: 2 Total time: 45 min
In the field
Meet the grower: John Walter-Symons , Holbeton, Devon
John Walter-Symons runs Borough Farm near Holbeton; the rolling fields are filled with vegetables and cereal crops, as well as free-roaming organic sheep.
SeasonalityThe UK season runs from May to September. They’re a great crop for gardeners and allotment growers.
Zephyr courgettes are a real beauty in the kitchen, creamy yellow with a bright green end, striped like they've been dipped in paint. Like normal courgettes, they incredibly versatile, full of flavour with a succulent yet firm texture.