So many courgettes! In winter I pine for them, in summer I forget what to do with them. I’m sure gardeners all over New Zealand are having the same (happy)problem right now. Luckily though, courgettes are extremely versatile and suit many savoury as well as sweet dishes. Nutritionally courgettes contain pretty good levels of vitamin C - around 1/3 of the recommended daily intake in 100g (about 1 courgette) as well as decent levels of potassium which can assist in regulating blood pressure and may help to prevent stroke. Mostly water (around 90%) courgette is particularly hydrating and, if low-cal floats your boat they contain only 17-20 calories per 100g, meaning you can load up your plate with zucchini noodles and take advantage of their nutritional benefits.
Challenge: eat 3 a day while they are at their peak to up your vitamin C in prep for the colder months ahead.
My favourite ways to use courgette are grilled with a good cold-pressed olive oil, lemon and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast, zucchini 'noodle' salad with herby pesto and avocado or blended up with frozen banana, cacao and a fresh date for a delicious vegan ice-cream.
Try this salad!
Using a potato peeler or mandolin to thinly slice the courgette makes them feel a little more substantial and filling to me and the tend to wilt down less when an acidic dressing is added. And this dressing! Tahini is the best, just the best. Also the fat from the tahini and good amount of black pepper in this help our body receive the greatest benefits from the anti-inflammatory and liver supporting active constituent Curcumin in the turmeric.
Summer Courgette Slaw with Tahini Turmeric Dressing + Plant Bacon
Serves 4 as a main meal with bread and hummus
1/4 red cabbage
1 large cucumber
1/2 head of iceberg lettuce
juice 1/2 lemon
toasted sesame seeds
Plant Bacon 60g
1/3 cup tahini
juice 1/2 lemon
juice 1/2 orange
1 tsp ground turmeric (or more)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp nutritional yeast
1 small clove garlic, minced
Roughly tear iceberg and place on serving platter. Thinly slice (thin as possible!) courgette, red cabbage and cucumber with veggie peeler, mandolin or sharp knife into a bowl, squeeze over lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and give a light mix before placing over lettuce.
To make dressing place tahini in a bowl and loosen with lemon and orange juice. At first it will seize up but keep stirring and adding liquid, it will loosen then start thickening up again and become very creamy and white. Add enough water to get to desired consistency. Add turmeric, black pepper, nooch, garlic and salt.
Pour the dressing over the salad…all of it! and top with toasted sesame and plant bacon. I put rose petals on mine cuz ... plant nerd.
Any other weird and wonderful ways to use up this most amazing courgette glut?
Penelope (BDes(hons), BCA, ND, Dip. Med Herb) is a trained chef, medical herbalist, naturopath and holistic nutritionist and has recently completed her design thesis which focused primarily on methods of incorporating plants, medicine and feelings of joy into culinary products and experiences.