Zucchini or Courgette Recipes and Cooking Tips - Delishably - Food and Drink
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Zucchini or Courgette Recipes and Cooking Tips

Gordon loves cooking and experimenting with food. He loves making new dishes, particularly with unusual or underused ingredients.

Zucchini guacamole and roast chicken wings platter.

Zucchini guacamole and roast chicken wings platter.

Zucchini or courgette is often hugely underrated as a foodstuff—even considered bland by many people—so the recipes in this article are designed to hopefully show both how versatile it is and how delicious it can be made to taste.

6 Delicious Zucchini (Courgette) Recipes

  1. Zucchini or Courgette and Salsa Bruschetta
  2. Spicy Baked Zucchini and Beef With Roasted Mediterranean Veg
  3. Deep-Fried Zucchini in Light Batter With Curried Banana Dip
  4. Zucchini, Pancetta and Mozzarella Mediterranean Sandwiches
  5. Paprika Spiced Chicken Wings With Zucchini Guacamole
  6. Pineapple Salsa Zucchini Boats With Griddled Gammon Steaks
Courgette and zucchini are simply two different names for this member of the squash family.

Courgette and zucchini are simply two different names for this member of the squash family.

What's the Difference Between a Zucchini and a Courgette?

Zucchini and courgette are simply two different names for the same popular food item. The Italian name "zucchini" is used in some countries, including the United States, while the French word "courgette" is used in others, including the United Kingdom. Surprisingly, perhaps, there is no English language name for the "vegetable"—which, although treated in a culinary sense as a vegetable, is actually a fruit.

Zucchini slices ready for salting or cooking.

Zucchini slices ready for salting or cooking.

Do I Need to Salt Zucchini Before It Is Cooked?

The reason why zucchini is often salted and left aside for ten minutes before it is cooked is to allow the salt to draw out the excess liquid from the flesh. This used to be vitally important as the liquid was very bitter and would ruin the flavour of the cooked flesh. In modern times, however, this characteristic has largely been bred out of the fruit, and the procedure is not absolutely essential unless you are perhaps using heritage zucchini which will still contain the bitterness.

How to Salt It

It remains, however, a good idea still to follow the salting process prior to cooking. It will help ensure the cooked flesh is more firm.

  1. Simply slice or chop the zucchini as required, season well with salt and leave on a plate for ten minutes.
  2. You may be surprised by the amount of liquid that comes out of it in this time. Pat dry gently with kitchen paper.

To further assist in preventing the cooked zucchini being soggy, be sure always to cook it at a very high heat.

Griddled zucchini strips and salsa on sun dried tomato bruschetta.

Griddled zucchini strips and salsa on sun dried tomato bruschetta.

1. Zucchini or Courgette and Salsa Bruschetta

Cook Time

  • Prep time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 5 min
  • Ready in: 15 min
  • Yields: 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 4 long slices of trimmed zucchini, approximately ¼ inch thick
  • Salt
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
  • 2 inch piece of cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves - 1 peeled and finely chopped for salsa, 1 peeled and crushed for bruschetta
  • 3 or 4 basil leaves, rolled and shredded, plus extra to garnish
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil plus extra for drizzling on bruschetta
  • Black pepper
  • Rapeseed or vegetable oil
  • 1 sun dried tomato ciabatta bread roll

Instructions

  1. Salt the zucchini strips fairly liberally and set aside on a plate for ten minutes while you prepare the salsa and bring a cast iron griddle pan up to a smoking hot heat.
  2. Combine the tomato, cucumber, basil, chopped garlic and olive oil in a small bowl, seasoning with salt and pepper.
  3. Pat the zucchini strips dry with kitchen paper, lay on a clean plate and rub all over on both sides with the vegetable or rapeseed oil.
  4. Griddle the zucchini strips on your very hot pan for two minutes each side.
  5. While the zucchini is griddling, cut the ciabatta in half and lightly toast on both sides. Rub the cut sides with the crushed garlic clove, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay cut sides up on a serving plate.
  6. Lift the zucchini strips on to the bruschetta with cooking tongs before spooning on the salsa and garnishing with the extra shredded basil.
Sliced zucchini are baked with spicy beef and served with roasted fresh Mediterranean vegetables.

Sliced zucchini are baked with spicy beef and served with roasted fresh Mediterranean vegetables.

2. Spicy Baked Zucchini and Beef With Roasted Mediterranean Veg

Cook Time

  • Prep time: 2 hours (includes cooling time for sauce)
  • Cook time: 1 hour 5 min
  • Ready in: 3 hours 5 min
  • Yields: 1 serving

Ingredients

  • ½ pound minced/ground beef
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ small white onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 medium green chilli, seeded and finely sliced
  • Small pack (6 ounces) mixed, sliced bell peppers
  • 8 ounce can chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
  • 4 slices of zucchini, ¼ inch thick
  • 12 ounce pack mixed Mediterranean roasting vegetables
  • Rapeseed oil
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • Handful grated/shredded cheddar or similar cheese
  • Shredded basil leaves to garnish

Instructions

Stage 1

  1. Put the beef in to a large stew pot and season with salt and pepper. Gently heat on a low to medium setting to brown, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon.
  2. Add the onion to the beef and cook in a similar way for a further minute just to soften the onion.
  3. Add the chilli pepper, garlic, bell peppers and tomatoes and stir well.
  4. Bring to the gentlest of simmers, cover and continue to simmer for half an hour.
  5. Turn off the heat and leave for around a couple of hours to cool.

Stage 2

  1. When the spicy beef is more or less cool, put your oven on to preheat to 450F/220C/Gas Mark 8.
  2. An ovenproof dish around 10 inches by 5 inches and 1 inch deep is perfect for assembling the spicy zucchini beef but you can easily adapt. Start with a layer of spicy beef, followed by two slices of zucchini, a second layer of beef, a second two slices of zucchini and top to fill dish with remaining spicy beef.
  3. Drizzle the tray of vegetables with rapeseed oil, season with the dried herbs, salt and pepper. Use your hands to mix and ensure even coating.
  4. Place both trays in to the hot oven for half an hour.
  5. Take the dishes from the oven and scatter the cheese over the spicy beef zucchini, seasoning with more black pepper. The cheese will almost immediately start to melt so no further heating is required.
  6. Lift the spicy beef dish to a serving plate and spoon the vegetables alongside, garnishing them with the basil leaves.
Chunks of zucchini deep fried in a light batter and served with a creamy, curried banana dip.

Chunks of zucchini deep fried in a light batter and served with a creamy, curried banana dip.

3. Deep-Fried Zucchini in Light Batter With Curried Banana Dip

This idea is a variation of the breaded and deep fried zucchini slices featured in the video recipe below. In this instance, the zucchini is cut into chunks and deep-fried in a very thin batter, just to provide a thin, crispy coating.

Cook Time

  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook time: 5 min
  • Ready in: 20 min
  • Yields: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 zucchini
  • Salt
  • 2 small to medium ripe bananas
  • 6 ounce tub soured cream
  • 1 teaspoon medium curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons plain/all purpose flour
  • 2 generous handfuls mixed salad leaves
  • 2 small basil sprigs and sliced leaves to garnish

Instructions

  1. Cut the zucchini in half and scoop out the softest pulp and seeds from the centre with a teaspoon as shown in the photo above. Scatter liberally with salt and invert on a plate for ten minutes.
  2. Depending upon the size of your deep fryer or pan, you may need to fry the zucchini in two batches. If so, put an ovenproof dish in to your oven and put the oven on to preheat to its lowest setting. The first fried batch can be kept warm in this way.
  3. Peel and roughly chop the bananas. Add to your blender with the soured cream, curry powder and some salt. Blitz until smooth.
  4. Start the oil heating in your deep fryer or pan.
  5. Put the flour in to a bowl and season with salt. Very slowly add cold water, whisking with a fork, until you have batter the consistency of double/heavy cream.
  6. Chop the zucchini halves in to one inch crescents and add to the batter. Carefully mix through.
  7. The zucchini pieces should be added carefully to the hot oil and fried for about three minutes. Lift to a plate covered with kitchen paper to drain.
  8. If applicable, transfer the first batch of fritters to the oven and fry the second batch in the same way.
  9. Wash and shake dry the salad leaves. Arrange as beds for the fritters on two plates.
  10. Divide the curried banana dip between two ramekins and plate with the salads.
  11. Arrange the zucchini on the salad beds and scatter with the shredded basil. Garnish the banana dip with the basil sprigs.
Griddled zucchini slices with pancetta and mozzarella on sub rolls.

Griddled zucchini slices with pancetta and mozzarella on sub rolls.

4. Zucchini, Pancetta and Mozzarella Mediterranean Sandwiches

Cook Time

  • Prep time: 10 min
  • Cook time: 5 min
  • Ready in: 15 min
  • Yields: 2 sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 2 slices of zucchini, ¼ inch thick
  • Salt
  • 4 slices pancetta (Italian bacon)
  • Rapeseed or vegetable oil for griddling/frying
  • 4 slices soft buffalo mozzarella
  • 4 slices from medium tomato
  • 2 small, soft sub rolls
  • White pepper
  • Shredded basil leaves to garnish

Instructions

  1. Salt the zucchini strips and set aside while you slice the tomato and mozzarella and get your griddle pan up to a very high heat.
  2. The zucchini should be oiled on both sides before being griddled for two minutes each side on a very high heat.
  3. The pancetta is very thin so only takes about a minute each side in a little oil in a frying pan over a medium heat.
  4. Cut the sub rolls open and lay the zucchini slices on the bottom halves.
  5. Gently shake the excess oil from the pancetta and lay two strips on top of each zucchini slice.
  6. Arrange the tomato and mozzarella slices alternately on top of the pancetta.
  7. Scatter with the shredded basil leaves and a little white pepper before placing the tops on the rolls.
Roast chicken wings spiced with paprika are served with hard boiled eggs and zucchini based guacamole.

Roast chicken wings spiced with paprika are served with hard boiled eggs and zucchini based guacamole.

5. Paprika Spiced Chicken Wings With Zucchini Guacamole

The previous recipe on this page (Mediterranean sandwiches) used only two slices from a zucchini so this recipe was perfect for using up the slightly more than half remaining zucchini the following day, it having been kept in the fridge overnight. It incorporates a bit of a twist on the Mexican dip guacamole, using zucchini instead of avocado. The serving platter used here is designed for serving Spanish tapas and makes an attractive sharing dish for two people.

Note that this dish can be prepared in advance and is equally delicious served cold, perhaps as part of a buffet at a summer party.

Cook Time

  • Prep time: 20 min
  • Cook time: 30 min
  • Ready in: 50 min
  • Yields: Sharing platter for two people

Ingredients

  • 15 or 16 whole chicken wings (or as desired)
  • Rapeseed or olive oil
  • Salt and white pepper
  • Paprika
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ zucchini (approximately)
  • 1 small green chilli pepper
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Black pepper
  • ½ medium tomato, seeded and moderately finely diced
  • 4 or 5 basil leaves, rolled and finely sliced, plus extra to garnish

Instructions

  1. Put your oven on to preheat to 400F/200C/Gas Mark 6
  2. You may of course have bought the chicken wings already chopped but if not, begin by chopping off the bony tips and discarding them. Chop the remaining part of the wings in to the two natural parts defined by their structure.
  3. You will need two roasting trays for this quantity of wings. If you don't have two suitable trays but are serving the wings cold, they can simply be cooked in two batches. Add the wings to the roasting tray(s).
  4. Drizzle the wings liberally with oil and season with salt, white pepper and paprika.
  5. Use your hands to turn the wings through the oil and seasonings to evenly coat. Yes, it's a little bit messy but provides far better results than using a wooden spoon or a spatula.
  6. Make sure the wings are laid on the tray in a single layer with the skin sides up. Put the tray(s) in to your oven for half an hour.
  7. Roughly chop the zucchini, add to a bowl and salt. Leave for ten minutes.
  8. The eggs should be added to a pot of cold water and the water brought to a simmer for eight to ten minutes, depending upon their size.
  9. Pat the zucchini pieces dry with kitchen paper and add them to your blender with the seeded and roughly chopped chilli and lime juice. Season with some salt and black pepper and blend until smooth.
  10. Pour the blended zucchini mix in to a bowl and add the chopped tomato and sliced basil. Stir to combine.
  11. Take the pot containing the eggs to the sink and run cold water in to it just until the eggs are cool enough to handle. Crack the shells carefully on a hard surface and peel.
  12. Return the peeled eggs to the pot of cold water to cool them quickly. This prevents the bluish discolouration from forming around the edges of the yolks.
  13. Cut the cooled eggs in half, down through the centre, and season with some more paprika.
  14. Take the chicken wings from the oven and allow to rest for five minutes before assembling the various ingredients on a plate or platter and garnishing with some more sliced basil leaves.
Pineapple salsa stuffed zucchini halves served on griddled gammon steaks.

Pineapple salsa stuffed zucchini halves served on griddled gammon steaks.

6. Pineapple Salsa Zucchini Boats With Griddled Gammon Steaks

Cook Time

  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook time: 6 min (approximately)
  • Ready in: 21 min (approximately)
  • Yields: 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 1 zucchini
  • Salt
  • 1 pineapple ring, moderately finely chopped
  • 1 small green chilli, seeded and finely chopped
  • ¼ red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 or 4 basil leaves, rolled and sliced, plus extra to garnish
  • Black pepper
  • 2 medium gammon steaks
  • Rapeseed or vegetable oil for griddling

Instructions

  1. Start your oven preheating to 450F/220C/Gas Mark 8.
  2. Top and tail the zucchini and cut it in half lengthways.
  3. Take a thin slice off the curved side of each half (see picture). This will allow the halves to sit stable on a surface and not be likely to roll around.
  4. Use a teaspoon to scrape most of the seeds and pulp out the centre of the two halves. Do not go too deep and leave about a half inch unscraped at each end.
  5. Season the cut sides of the zucchini halves with salt and lay upside down on a plate for ten minutes.
  6. While the salt is doing it's work on the zucchini halves, prepare the pineapple salsa and start your griddle pan getting up to a very high heat.
  7. Put the pineapple, red onion, chilli, basil and garlic in to a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, add the olive oil and stir well.
  8. Pat the inside of the zucchini boats dry with a paper towel and spoon in the salsa.
  9. Lightly oil the gammon steaks on both sides. Cooking time will vary depending upon the thickness of the steaks but these ones in the pictures took three minutes each side.
  10. Lay the gammon steaks in the griddle pan before carefully placing the stuffed zucchini boats on to a lightly oiled roasting tray and in to the hot oven just for the five or six minutes the gammon steaks take to griddle. You are essentially only heating them through.
  11. Lay the gammon steaks on a serving plate, use cooking tongs to lift the zucchini boats on top and garnish with a little more freshly sliced basil.

Different Ways of Cooking Zucchini or Courgettes

Comments

Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on November 15, 2015:

Thank you very much ketage and I hope you did get a chance to try out the bruschetta idea. You're right, it is a perfect choice for an appetizer.

ketage from Croatia on November 13, 2015:

Delicious recipes, great photographs and very well written :)

I am gonna try a couple of your recipes tomorrow.

I think your Courgette and Salsa Bruschetta would make a great appetizer. I am going to try that first :)

Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on October 06, 2015:

Thanks everyone for all the comments. I hope these ideas prove in some way useful to you all.

Virginia Kearney from United States on October 05, 2015:

A terrific variety of recipes to use with this wonderful squash! I especially love the baked zucchini. I had never thought of using them like you would noodles.

RTalloni on October 05, 2015:

Congrats on your Hub of the Day award for this yum and useful post.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on October 05, 2015:

Yum; these all do look so delicious and healthy! Congrats on HOTD!

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on October 05, 2015:

Love love zucchini and will be eager to give these recipes a try. It is always lovely to find a new way to try an old favorite.

Congrats on HOTD....Angels are on the way to you today ps

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on October 05, 2015:

Congrats on HOTD, Gordon, since I've read this hub a long while ago. Great job!

Thelma Alberts from Germany and Philippines on October 05, 2015:

Congratulations on the HOTD award Gordon. This food made me hungry.Well done!

Jill Spencer from United States on October 05, 2015:

Wonderful recipes, Gordon, and great photos. They make me want to try them all! Congrats on HOTD.

Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on August 12, 2015:

Thank you pstraubie and I'm glad you think I've done justice to one of your favourite foods. Hope you enjoy some of these ideas.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on June 18, 2015:

You certainly have a wonderful collection of zucchini recipes. It is one of my favorite foods so I will be giving some of these a try.

Thanks for sharing.

Angels are on the way to you today ps

Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on June 05, 2015:

Thanks, Kristen and cygnetbrown. Yes, it will soon be the perfect time of year to prepare these recipes and I hope you find some of them useful.

Cygnet Brown from Springfield, Missouri on May 24, 2015:

It is certainly that time of year when zucchini will soon be plentiful. Which reminds me, I need to get mine planted. I am glad to know where to find these delicious recipes when I need them!

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on May 20, 2015:

Gordon, I would love to try some of those zucchini recipes--those without the curry or chili peppers of course. Thanks for sharing these recipes. Voted up for useful!

Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on May 14, 2015:

Hi, Silva and thank you. I hope you have a lot of fun experimenting with these techniques and create lots of tasty dishes.

Silva Hayes from Spicewood, Texas on May 13, 2015:

This article has so much value! Thank you; I love zucchini and now I know more ways to prepare it.

Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on May 13, 2015:

I hope you get that chance to eat more and try some of these ideas, LaDonna. Thanks for visiting and commenting :)

Daniela Lumbaca from Australia on May 13, 2015:

Yum yum yum! Everything about this made me want to eat more zucchini!!!

Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on May 13, 2015:

Thank you torrilynn. Here's hoping you find something you enjoy.

torrilynn on May 12, 2015:

thanks for the recipes. I can't wait to try them sooner rather than later. Best of wishes.