the World on a Zucchini
plant genus Curcubita produces many useful food items including
melons, vegetable marrow, also known as squash, pumpkins ands
of course zucchini, also known as courgette.
domesticated as much as 5000 years ago in the southern part of
the North American continent in present day Mexico, the zucchini
was spread throughout the world after the Europeans found out
they were not the only ones on the planet. It is a plant particularly
suited to warmer climates since it cannot withstand any frost,
and it is also easy to grow, so the Mediterranean countries adopted
it to their cuisine.
a tour around the countries of the Mediterranean region the traveler
will find the humble zucchini appearing everywhere from the south
of France to the shores of the Lebanon.
is almost always served cooked, unlike its cousin the cucumber.
It can be boiled, baked, fried, grilled or cooked in stews and
soups. To give readers some ideas for using zucchinis we include
a few of our members' favourite zucchini recipes, but with a quick
a search of the internet readers will find many more ideas with
which to experiment. If you are growing zucchini plants you might
like to try the flowers, which are edible, usually cooked by deep-frying.
In Italy these are known as fiori di zucca.
first thing to note with Zucchini (Courgette) is that size isn't
everything. It's a case of the smaller the tastier, eight inches
or 20cm is enough! If they are fairly small then they may be used
raw, thinly sliced in a salad with chopped fresh herbs, and your
favourite dressing. Larger Zucchini are bitter if not cooked.
the French vegetable stew, will be known to us all, if only from
the Disney film of that name. It is my personal favourite way
to eat vegetables, and so simple. Darina Allan advises to fry
the aubergines and small zucchinis separately to the onions, peppers
and tomatoes and add them to the mix at the end. Similar stews
are found in Egyptian cuisine and else where in the Mediterranean
The Italians like their zucchinis sliced, covered in egg and breadcrumbs
and fried. In turkey zucchini pancakes are popular and easy to
make with flour, eggs and shredded zucchini.
can be added to almost any vegetable soup and other stews and
it helps to naturally thicken them.
Like most vegetables, zucchini is low in fat and in overall
calories, but it is a useful source of vitamins and minerals.
prepared three very different recipes
Serves approx 4
1 or 2 Zucchini (375grms) grated
1 cup grated cheese
1 onion chopped
3 rashers bacon, cooked and chopped
1 cup self-raising flour
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 large or 5 small eggs, lightly beaten
1 clove garlic, chopped
Ground pepper - to taste
Lightly fry onion and bacon. Then combine all the ingredients
into bowl, mix together and pour into quiche dish and cook in
oven for 35 to 40 mins.
Can be served hot as main dish for breakfast, lunch or dinner
or served cold, cut into small pieces and tossed in salad. Perfect
(Courgette) Basil and Lemon Salad
4 small Zucchinis
3 tbsp olive oil
Grated zest and juice of one lemon
1 tsp honey
2 tbsp chopped basil
Salt and black pepper
Slice the Zucchinis along their length very thinly (long thin
slices). Place in a shallow bowl. Make a dressing by mixing the
olive oil, lemon zest and juice, honey and salt and pepper.
over the Zucchinis, cover bowl and place in fridge for at least
3 to 4 hours but better overnight.
A very refreshing salad
Makes two loaves
450g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 level tsp bread soda, finely sieved
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
½ (half) tsp ground cloves
3 Zucchini (15cm long), grated
50g chopped walnuts
2 loaf tins, fully lined
Preheat the oven to 1800C/3500F/gas 4. Sieve the dry ingredients,
except the sugar, into a large wide bowl. Rub in the butter and
stir in the sugar. Beat the eggs with the milk and pour into the
dry ingredients. Beat with a wooden spoon until combined. Stir
in the zucchini and walnuts.
into the lined loaf tins and bake in the preheated oven for about
50-60 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
to cool in the tins for about five minutes, then take out of the
tins and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.