Courgette plant comes from Central America and together with pumpkin, watermelon, cucumber and melon are part of the family of Cucurbitaceae. It can grow on the ground or climbing, it has wide bright green leaves and yellow flowers, slightly orange.
Among all the vegetables, courgette is one of the less caloric thanks to its high quantity of water (92%) and, thus, it is suitable for any diet. 100 gr of courgettes corresponds, in fact, to 12 calories.
Thanks to these properties, they are a common food used for the Mediterranean diet and on the Italian tables. There is a wide choice of recipes to cook courgettes.
They are used as an ingredient of minestrone, soups or salads to create crazy sauces for coloured first courses or grilled, gratin, raw or simply fried.
There are even desserts prepared with courgettes.
At the supermarket it is better to buy small courgettes (no more than 22-25 cm) without seeds and thick. The presence of flower is a sign of freshness, and the peel has to be smooth, bright and thick.
Cooking courgettes: stuffed courgettes
Courgettes are perfect to be stuffed, above all the one with a round and non-lengthened shape. They have to be emptied carefully using a teaspoon or a small knife, stuffed and cooked in an oven or stewed. For the stuffing, you can use the ingredients that you like most: you can prepare a stuffing with cheese, pasta or rice, or you can use meat or tuna.
Cooking courgettes: sautéed courgettes
Sautéed courgettes are extremely simple to prepare.
First of all cut the courgettes in slices or dices then place them in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil with a high-medium fire. Add garlic, salt and pepper, as you like. Cook mixing now and then with a wood spoon.
Sautéed courgettes can be used as side dish or, if there are leftovers, to do a tasty omelette, stuffed pizzas and savoury pies, as stuffing for a sandwich together with bresaola and Philadelphia, or as seasoning for first courses of pasta and rice.
Cooking courgettes: other ideas
If you love experimenting, mix courgettes with other vegetables (belt pepper, potatoes, carrots, aubergine…) to create a mix of vegetables perfect for cous cous. Or grate and use them raw: you can prepare a delicate carpaccio of courgettes that you can enrich with Parmigiano or salmon, rolls to stuff as you like, or as ingredient for pasta or rice salad.