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What Are Courgettes?

A courgette by any other name is actually…a zucchini. This is actually a British English term (particularly, a New Zealand English term) for the long, green and oblong (or sometimes round) vegetable that belongs to the summer squash family.

Courgettes are a very versatile vegetable. They can be sliced into thin strips or rounds, and briefly blanched for a salad. Or they can be sautéed in a little butter for a light and easy dish, or mixed into a casserole. Courgettes can also be fried, steamed, or baked. Some even grate it to mix into stews and soups. To prove its versatility, it can also be made into spicy breads or sweetened to become a dessert.

Courgettes grow on vines. Many believe they are better and sweeter when they are picked when they are small. They are quite abundant during the summer, starting in the last weeks of May.
Courgettes are easy to grow. They are very good at resisting pest infestations, and once the plant reaches maturity, can be quite prolific. In fact, people who grow courgettes may soon find themselves giving away part of their abundant harvest to neighbors. It is best to pick courgettes a few days after they ripen.

Courgettes are very mild in flavor and so lend themselves to a lot of spices and sauces. They are also good for children who normally don’t like vegetables since they can be grated and snuck into meatloaf and hamburgers. They are rich in vitamin A, folate, potassium and manganese (which can hasten metabolism) and have few calories.

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