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What are Courgettes?

Yellow or summer squash are courgettes.
Raw sliced courgettes.
Honeybees are needed to pollinate zucchini plants.
Grilled courgettes.
Courgettes, or zucchini, adds flavor to traditional lasagna.
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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 09 September 2014
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Courgette is the British, and particularly the New Zealand, name for zucchinis. People in the UK may refer to it as marrows. Zucchinis come in many shapes and a few different colors. People are likely most familiar with those that are long green oblongs, resembling a cucumber, but round or yellow ones can be found in many stores. It is perhaps the best known and most popular of the summer squashes.

Though marrows technically belong in the fruit family, they are almost invariably considered vegetables. They may be steamed, fried, grated into pasta sauce, or blanched and served as part of a vegetable plate. They’re also sliced into stews and soups, and have a mild taste. On a few occasions, courgettes are treated as a dessert and used in zucchini bread.

Zucchini grows on vines, and the blossoms they grow from are edible and favored by many. Squash blossoms from summer squash may be steamed or served stuffed and fried with the fruit. Many people prefer to buy these vegetables when they are still quite small and are attached to the blossom. Younger zucchinis do tend to be sweeter, and when they are still attached to their flowers, they are often freshest. Shoppers who cannot find them in grocery stores may want to try their local farmers markets, where they are usually available in late May through the summer in the US.

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Gardeners with a sunny spot in their garden can try their hand at growing zucchini, usually one of the easiest vegetables to grow and fairly pest resistant. Two plants should be grown since the squash depends upon cross-pollination by honeybees in order to fruit. A single plant can grow an impressive amount of zucchini, and many gardeners find themselves feeding not only their family, but the neighborhood as well. Generally, the frut should be picked within a day or two of use, which often means that a gardener will end up with a few very large zucchinis toward the end of the season.

Larger courgettes are often good when served in other foods, where a slightly stronger flavor is disguised. They can be added to pasta sauce or zucchini breads or muffins. Additionally, zucchini pancakes are a savory meal, or the vegetable can be used in lasagna. Since zucchini, even when it is large, doesn’t have tremendous flavor, it’s easy to grate it into a number of foods where those who abstain from vegetables, such as some children, won’t notice it. A hamburger patty or meatloaf can have some included, and a child who hates green things will usually be none the wiser.

Zucchini are a good source of vitamin A and low in calories. They contain a healthy supply of manganese, folate, and potassium. Many dieters add them to their diets, since manganese is known for its ability to speed up the metabolism.

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BAU79
Post 5

Zucchini is great on the grill, especially if you get some of the really large ones. You just cut them into strips, brush both sides with some oil, and season to taste. I like salt, pepper, and chili powder but the sky is the limit really.

clippers
Post 4

Zucchini is one of my favorite vegetables because it is so versatile. You can work zucchini into almost any dish as a way to add bulk without changing the flavor.

I like to add zucchini to my spaghetti sauce and I have used it to make some really tasty Mexican food. You just have to learn how to cook it and season it properly.

jsw23
Post 2

@eastwest- Zucchini or courgettes make the sweet bread moist and rich. The actual flavor of this veggie is not pungent enough to detect once all the other ingredients are added to the bread mixture.

Adding mild-flavored veggies like zucchini to desserts and sweet breads provides nutritional value in addition to enhancing density/moisture. The zucchini is virtually impossible for any child or vegetable-hater to detect.

eastwest
Post 1

Zucchini bread is especially fun because I would personally never have thought of pairing zucchini with a sweet bread. I have even heard of people making zucchini chocolate chip bread although I've never tried it myself.

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