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Roasted courgette is easy, delicious and light. They can be served either hot or cold and because they are so mild, they adapt to any flavours you want to add to them!
What are they?
If you’re wondering what the heck a courgette is, then chances are you know it by another name. Zucchini is the common name in many countries, whereas courgette is standard in others. In South Africa, the name ‘baby marrow’ is used. Funnily enough, courgette translates to baby marrow from French and Zucchini has the same translation from Italian.
Courgettes are a member of the Cucurbitaceae family along with squash, pumpkins, watermelon and cucumber. While usually treated as a vegetable, they are actually a fruit of the plant, which is harvested when immature.
Are courgettes good for you?
While not as nutritionally dense as some other vegetables, courgettes are definitely healthy. They contain vitamin C and potassium among other things. Furthermore, they contain certain compounds that can help prevent cancer.
Courgettes are also low in calories and fat, containing just 15 calories per 100g and 0.5g of fat.
How can I serve them?
Courgettes are so versatile. Roast them, bake them, strip them and eat them raw. The possibilities are endless. You can also invest in a spiraliser and have a low-cal, low-carb, low-fat alternative to spaghetti!
When roasting courgettes they are great to serve as a side dish as they are very mild so won’t overpower any other flavours. However, that can mean they are a little bland so I love to add some extra flavours to jazz them up. I’d always recommend seasoning well and a pinch of chilli flakes adds extra depth and a little heat. A beautiful recipe option is to dollop on some ricotta, tear up some basil and squeeze over a little lemon (pictured below).
Some other great uses for courgette include:
- Courgette soup
- Roasted balsamic Mediterranean veg – a medley of different veg
- Halloumi and courgette fritters
- Noodle and courgette salad
How do you cook them without them getting soggy?
When cooking courgette try and use as little liquid as possible, which is exactly why roasting is one of the best ways to go (and boiling is a no-no). Also, make sure to cook them over a high heat rather than go ‘lower and slower’
You can also salt the courgette before cooking. I don’t find this makes a huge difference when roasting, but if you want to try then scatter salt over the slices and leave for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes press the slices with a paper towel to remove any liquid drawn out.
Do I need to peel them?
Not only is it unnecessary to peel courgettes, but unless you really don’t like the skin it is recommended to keep it on. The skin actually holds most of the nutrients found in courgettes.
When roasting courgettes, keeping the skin on also helps to maintain the shape of the courgette as an added bonus.
How do I prepare them for roasting?
Courgettes are so easy to roast, and you only need a few simple ingredients to hand:
Simply slice the courgettes into long pieces, around 1/2 cm thick and then lay them on a baking sheet lined with parchment/baking paper.
Drizzle over the olive oil and then season well with salt and pepper. Flip the pieces over and repeat on the other side. You can also add a few chilli flakes for extra flavour.
How long do I need to roast them?
How long you need to roast courgettes depends on the heat of the oven and the size of the slices. In general, roasting is done at high heat, while cooking at a lower heat would be baking. A temperature of 200C/400F is perfect for roasting.
If you have cut the courgettes into thin strips, as described above, then 15-20 minutes is a good amount of time, depending on if you want them to crisp up a little towards the end of cooking. If you have cut them into bigger pieces then they may need a little longer.
Can I make them in advance?
While you can chill and then reheat pre-roasted courgette, it will be softer and mushier in texture after reheating. They are definitely best when freshly roasted. You can also eat leftovers cold. They are beautiful when thrown into a salad.
As courgettes are over 90% water I don’t recommend freezing any leftovers as they will certainly become a lot mushier after thawing. However, you could freeze them and then use them in a soup later down the line.
Looking for more great roasted veg recipes? Try:
- Roasted aubergine
- Roasted tenderstem broccoli
- Roasted balsamic Mediterranean vegetables
- Roasted leeks and tomatoes
Products that work well for this recipe:
Dawsons Living 2 Piece Traybake and Roaster Set
Magnetic Spice Rack – Set of 12
Beeswax Food Wraps
Delicious served hot or cold, roasted courgette is a light and healthy option for a side dish. They are mild enough to add a variety of flavours.
The default recipe serves 2 as a side dish.
- 200g / 7oz courgette/zucchini
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper, a pinch of each
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
- Slice the aubergines length ways, around 1/2cm (1/4in) thick.
- Line a baking tray with baking/parchment paper and line the courgette pieces on it so they aren’t touching. Drizzle over half the olive oil and scatter the salt and pepper on. Flip and repeat on the other side.
- Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
- If you prefer to slice the courgette into thicker pieces rounds then the cooking time may need to be altered depending on the size of the pieces.
- Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheating will cause them to soften more and potentially become a little mushy although it’s fine to do. You can also eat leftovers cold.
- Freezing is not advised unless you plan to make it into a sauce or soup at a later date.
- A pinch of chilli flakes is also a delicious accompaniment.
- Category: Side
- Method: Roast
- Cuisine: Vegetables
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 45
- Fat: 2g
- Carbohydrates: 4g
- Protein: 2g
Keywords: courgette, side, healthy, vegetarian, vegan, vegetables, zucchini