Courgettes are a type of summer squash that can be transformed into a mouthwatering dish with the right culinary techniques. In this article, I will instruct you how to cook courgettes properly at home.
1. What Are Courgettes?
Courgettes are summer squash that belong to the gourd family. These slender, cylindrical vegetables have smooth, green skin and tender, white flesh. With a mild, slightly sweet flavor, courgettes are a versatile ingredient that can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes, making them a favorite among home cooks and professional chefs alike.
Courgettes are not only delicious but also highly nutritious. They are low in calories and an excellent source of vitamins, particularly vitamin C and vitamin A. They also provide important minerals, such as potassium and folate. Additionally, courgettes are rich in dietary fiber, which can aid in digestion and promote a feeling of fullness.
2. What is the Best Way To Eat Courgettes?
While there are numerous ways to prepare courgettes, one of the best methods to retain their natural flavor and texture is by cutting them into thin slices and sautéing them. This technique allows the courgettes to cook quickly, preserving their crispiness and vibrant color. Sautéing also brings out their subtle sweetness, making them a delectable side dish or a flavorful addition to a main course.
3. How To Cook Courgettes Sautéed
- 4 medium-sized courgettes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: garlic, herbs (e.g., basil, thyme), grated Parmesan cheese
Start by rinsing the courgettes under cold water to remove any dirt or debris. Pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel.
Cut off both ends of the courgettes and discard them then cut in half lengthways. Slice into half moons
Place a large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Allow it to heat for a minute or two until it shimmers.
Carefully add the sliced courgettes to the hot pan, spreading them out in a single layer. Let them cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until they turn golden brown and slightly tender. For added flavor, you can include minced garlic or your choice of herbs.
Season the sautéed courgettes with salt and pepper to taste. If desired, sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over the top for an extra layer of flavor. Transfer them to a serving platter and serve hot.
4. What To Eat With Sautéed Courgettes?
Sautéed courgettes complement a wide range of dishes, adding a burst of freshness and flavor to any meal. Here are some delectable pairings:
Baked chicken breast or fish: The light and slightly sweet flavor of sautéed courgettes perfectly complements the savory notes of baked chicken breast or fish. This combination makes for a balanced and nutritious main course.
Pasta Dishes: Toss sautéed courgettes with your favorite pasta, a drizzle of olive oil, and some freshly grated Parmesan cheese for a quick and satisfying meal.
Quinoa or Rice Bowls: Create a wholesome grain bowl by pairing sautéed courgettes with cooked quinoa or rice, along with other vegetables, protein sources, and a flavorful sauce of your choice.
Frittatas or Omelettes: Incorporate sautéed courgettes into your morning routine by adding them to a frittata or omelette. Their tender texture and mild flavor make them a delightful addition to breakfast.
5. What is the Difference Between Courgette And Zucchini?
Courgette and zucchini are actually the same vegetable, but they are known by different names in different parts of the world.
In the United States and parts of Canada, the vegetable is commonly referred to as “zucchini.” This term originates from the Italian word “zucchino,” which means “small squash.”
In the United Kingdom and many other English-speaking countries, the same vegetable is known as a “courgette.” This term comes from the French word “courge,” which means “gourd” or “squash.”
So, in essence, there is no botanical or culinary difference between courgettes and zucchinis. They are just known by different names depending on where you are in the world.
Sautéing courgettes is a simple yet effective way to elevate this versatile vegetable to new heights of flavor and texture. With its mild taste and high nutritional value, courgette is a wonderful addition to any meal. Whether enjoyed on its own or paired with other ingredients, sautéed courgettes are sure to become a staple in your culinary repertoire.