The joy of eating seasonal vegetables is enjoying the natural variety available throughout the year. Look for British courgettes in the shops in mid-to-late summer, and if you can grow them at home, even better.
There’s no better way to celebrate the variety and colour the summer months have to offer than by cooking and eating seasonal fruit and veg. With their firm flesh and delicate flavour, versatile courgettes can be used in a huge variety of dishes, whether grilled, stewed, roasted, fried, stuffed, sliced or even shaved raw into salads.
Keep an eye out for beautiful British courgettes in the shops from mid-to-late summer, and look for small, firm ones with glossy skin that feel heavy for their size. If you’ve got a glut of them in the garden, even better, make sure you use the flowers too, they’re delicious.
Here are 11 of our favourite courgette recipes to get you inspired.
Big up summer flavours in this incredible stuffed courgette recipe. Carefully fill each courgette (or the flowers, if you can get them) with fresh mint, peas, ricotta and lemon zest, then bake with rice, tomatoes, olives and chilli. Served with a simple salad and a glass of chilled white wine, it’s a total joy!
Toss yellow and green courgettes, lemon, fresh mint and a sprinkling of Parmesan with pasta for an easy but elegant midweek dish. Ready in 15 minutes and with just five ingredients, seasonal suppers don’t get much easier than this.
The Italian nonnas really know how to make simple ingredients sing. Cook courgettes simply with guanciale or smoked pancetta, garlic and cherry tomatoes, and enjoy as a side, an antipasto or piled onto bruschetta – the choice is yours.
For a veggie traybake with a difference, layer finely sliced courgettes, red onion and tomato with rice and bombs of green pesto, before grilling until beautifully gratinated. Top with fresh basil, homemade olive tapenade and delicate mozzarella, then serve in the middle of the table and let everyone dig in.
Chargrill a medley of courgettes, peppers, aubergine, fennel and leeks on the barbecue and finish with a punchy homemade basil oil for a super-charged side dish. The smoky flavour of the veg works well with any grilled meat or fish, or simply tuck in with a slice of toasted sourdough.
A celebration of different textures and flavours, this veg tagine is guaranteed to go down a storm. Summer veg cooked with saffron, preserved lemons and apricots, served on fluffy couscous and topped with flaked almonds, what’s not to love?
Revamp a classic comfort food with courgettes, mozzarella and basil in this oozy, cheesy risotto. Adding the basil stalks to the stock gives great flavour and stirring in the courgettes towards the end ensures they keep their crunch.
This simple blanket pie makes a stunning centrepiece for any garden table. The fragrant combination of fennel seeds, harissa, preserved lemon and saffron really brings the veg to life and the crispy, crunchy layer of filo pastry is the perfect contrast.
Courgettes and their delicate flowers add a summery twist to a family favourite, in this beautiful but easy carbonara recipe. You can use spaghetti or linguine, but the Italian nonnas say that penne is the original and we’re not going to argue with that.
Charred and smoky courgettes are balanced beautifully with crispy chicken wings and juicy prawns in this sunshine surf and turf-style dish. Finished with fresh oregano and a zingy lemony dressing, these skewers are perfect as a simple starter or light lunch.
This gorgeous summer salad is super-easy to make and really versatile. Grilled courgettes, garlic, red chilli and fresh mint are best flavour friends and are perfect paired with creamy goat’s cheese, cured meats, grilled fish or barbecued meat.
Combine coarsely grated courgettes and feta for these gorgeous green fritters. Delicious served hot straight from the pan, or make them in advance to pack into your picnic basket alongside a simple salad.
For more tasty ideas for seasonal eats, check out our Sensational summer vegetable recipes.