Humble Courgette

The humble courgette. A zucchini. Or has yours just grown a little large- is it now an unofficial marrow? An oft forgotten fresh ingredient, until its spiralised revival, taking the place of spaghetti or tagliatelle depending on your preference. At Guardswell, we adore the courgette- whether they are sunshine yellow, green striped- or perhaps even the variety “zephyr”- which looks like it has been dunked in lemon coloured paint, or green (depending on which way up you look at it).

 Guardswell Grows courgettes in Lon the Store, Dunkeld

There are a few differences between the true courgette (left to grow too big) and a marrow. The courgette plant is bush like, with the skin of the fruit (it is a fruit, not a vegetable- it has internal seeds) being finer and a little easier to consume. The marrow plant, on the other hand, tends to be leggy and tendrilous- its fruit has tough, almost bristly, skin that gives it its hard-mannered reputation.


So- what do we do with these cucurbits? Let’s start with the courgette. Equally delicious cooked as raw in our eyes- but find yourself something tender and not quite at that “false marrow” stage. To make the most delicious, simple salad- and perhaps our favourite of all time- take a peeler and shave your courgette into ribbons. Throw into a bowl and slosh a good glug of olive oil, and a decent squeeze of a lemon (until you have each ribbon covered in a fine layer or liquid). Leave to macerate for approximately 30minutes, then, using your peeler again- shave ribbon like slices of parmesan cheese onto the courgette. Add rough sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste. Enjoy with a glass of really good, cold, white wine.

Courgette Punnets 

You may think of a marrow as solely a hollowed-out boat to fill with savoury mince, a la 1985. And to be completely honest- I am not going to knock that use! However, why not spice that recipe up a little and substitute your usual beef mince for lamb, cook it down with garlic and onion,  throw some ground cumin and cumin seeds, ground cinnamon and ground turmeric- you will not look at a marrow the same again- I promise!


(This was originally published in the Courier Newspaper)

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