Courgettes (or Zucchinis) are often seen as a bland, tasteless vegetable, treated more as an afterthought as part of, say, a vegetarian stew or Ratatouille than as a dish in it’s own right.
I can see the reasoning behind this but, for me, there’s a lot more to courgettes than meets the eye.
You can choose to cook courgettes in a range of ways including some recipes using courgette flowers which are attached to little fingerling courgettes during the early stages of growth. These flowers only grow on the female plant – the male counterpart is completely flower-free.
In some recipes the flowers themselves are often served as part of a starter dish on the menus of expensive Italian restaurants. They are often stuffed with the likes of ricotta, goats cheese, garlic, sultanas, pine nuts and herbs.
In Scotland, we’d probably try deep frying them – which sounds equally delicious to tell you the truth!
Other ways of preparing and cooking courgettes offers up plenty of options: stuffed, grated or whole, baked, fried, boiled, steamed or stewed. If you decide to grate courgettes then crispy courgette fritters would make a simple, tasty dish. Alternatively, roasted in a Gratin or lasagne made with sliced courgettes, herbs, aubergine and parmesan cheese makes an appetising supper. I also love courgettes with any type of pasta.
For the recipe below I’ve taken a slightly different approach to the above.
Courgette ‘ribbons’ with sun-dried tomatoes and lambs lettuce salad
This is a very simple to prepare and the slicing technique can be easily mastered.
- 3 courgettes
- 150g sun-dried tomatoes in oil
- a handful of lambs lettuce
- 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- Using a vegetable peeler or mandolin, slice the courgettes into long thin ribbons and place in a dish.
- To make the dressing, whisk the lemon juice with the olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl and mix together with the rest of the ingredients in a wide serving bowl.