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  39. Peppers
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How to cook Courgettes

There are loads of gorgeous ways to prepare and cook courgettes. Young courgettes can be eaten raw, either shaved into ribbons or finely sliced into a salad – they’re delicious dressed simply with chilli, chopped mint, lemon and extra virgin olive oil. You can sauté, roast, grill or barbecue courgettes, or add them to cakes for a sweet treat. Larger courgettes can be stuffed. The flowers are also edible, and are delicious when filled with all sorts of things, such as ricotta and mint.

WATCH: Gennaro’s springtime risotto

READ: 7 tasty recipes for courgettes



Although we call courgettes a vegetable, they’re technically a fruit because they contain seeds. They are part of the cucurbit plant family, which includes squash and cucumbers. Courgettes come in many shapes and sizes. An unusual variety is called ‘tromboncino’ or ‘tromba’, which is a long, curly courgette. In North America and Australia, they are known as zucchini, which is the Italian name name for them. Courgettes are great in a wide variety of dishes, as they can be cooked in many different ways and even eaten raw!



Courgettes are at their best in the UK from June to October. When shopping for courgettes, look for small, firm ones with glossy unblemished skin that feel heavy for their size.



If you plan to use courgettes within 2 days of buying them, then it’s OK to keep them at room temperature. Otherwise, store in the fridge for up to one week.

What are the health benefits?

Courgettes are a source of a mineral called potassium. Potassium helps to keep our muscles working properly so we can move around. Courgettes are also a great source of vitamin C and folic acid. Half a large courgette counts as one of your 5-a-day (one portion of veg or fruit is 80g raw weight).