A fruit masquerading as a vegetable, in fact: Courgette is a summer squash in the same family as spaghetti squash, melons, and cucumbers. They’re good for you, too; full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fibre.
Courgettes are easy to prepare and incredibly versatile- which is good, because once the crop comes into full force in the summer months it can feel as though they’re multiplying every time you glance away.
When courgettes feel as though they’re growing out our ears in bumper sunny crops, I am in my element. Sweet or savoury, cooked or raw, chopped or spiralized, these moisture rich plants lend themselves to almost any food. I’m serious, and you’ll likely realise that by the time you’ve seen courgettes in your veggie box for the rest of the season.
I’m starting off the courgette-in-everything recipe train with ‘noodles’, because it’s what we made for a quick meal after a chaotic day, and because courgette noodles draped in garlic, butter, and herbs are just plain delicious. Even my pasta loving partner couldn’t get enough of these. They’re not some low carb, no flavour, New Years resolution meal option. Try wrapping some around your fork and see for yourself. And I mean, garlic and butter? Always.
5 cloves Garlic
2 good handfuls Fresh Herbs
2 tablespoons Butter or Vegan Alternative
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Sea Salt, or to taste
Few good turns Peppercorn, to taste
Optional, Parmesan or Pecorino, vegan or otherwise, to top
The How To:
Yes, a spiralizer is truly a great kitchen tool, but you can use either a vegetable peeler to create long julienned ribbon noodles or slice the courgette into spaghetti- like lengths. Whichever tool you're working with, turn your courgette into noodle magic, and pile it up on a clean tea towel to absorb the excess moisture.
Mince garlic and herbs; I used a bunch of coriander and a bit of basil that I had on hand.
In a large pan melt butter and oil over low heat, add garlic and salt, then allow to cook until aromatic. Dump in the courgette noodles and stir through the butter and garlic. Season with pepper. Cook the whole mess for around 4 minutes; I like my pasta al dente, but if you prefer it softer allow for another few minutes of cooking time. Toss with fresh herbs. Serve sprinkled with parmesan or pecorino.
-The courgette noodles would be a great accompaniment to tofu, tempeh, fish, or chicken; basically whatever sustainable protein source is your bag.
-Spiralizers aren't a gimmicky infomercial piece of junk, and if you eat a lot of vegetables they're an awesome minor investment. Changing the texture of a food changes the mouthfeel and taste, giving you whole new food options. Courgette pasta, spiralized beetroot, ribbons of carrots, kumara curly fries...