Courgettes – at their best right now

Courgettes – at their best right now

Courgettes are a fruit not a vegetable. They are rich in nutrients and fibre but low in calories, so are great if you are trying to lose some lockdown weight. There is evidence that they can improve blood sugar balance and can increase insulin sensitivity. They contain a lot of water and both insoluble and soluble fibre to support digestion, the balance of bacteria in your gut and getting rid of excess cholesterol. They are a rich source of anti-oxidants Vitamin A for eye and skin health, Vitamin C for immunity as well as potassium for blood pressure and magnesium which is calming. .
Courgettes are very versatile. You can use as courgetti in place of pasta for a low carb alternative.You can have them raw in a salad, stew with onions, aubergines and tomatoes in a ratatouille, stuff with rice, lentils or other vegetables, then bake, add to stir-fries, or blend it into soups Their flavour is enhanced when grilled or sautéed with a little garlic and oil or baked it into breads, pancakes, muffins or cakes. In some cultures, the flower is considered a delicacy. You can either stuff it and deep-fry it or sprinkle it raw on top of salads, soups, and stews.


Baked Fish with Courgettes (Serves 6)

Ingredients

2 cloves garlic

3 tbsp. mix of parsley, basil, and thyme leaves, chopped

4 tbsp olive oil

4 medium courgettes, sliced into thin lengths

12 cherry tomatoes, halved

6 firm, skinless white fish fillets (try Icelandic cod, hake, or red snapper)

2 unwaxed lemons

½ tsp crushed dried chilli

4 tbsp. breadcrumbs

2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped


Method

Heat the oven to 200˚C (gas mark 6). Crush 1 garlic clove into a small bowl and mix in the herbs and 2 tbsp olive oil. Place the courgettes and tomatoes in a roasting tin, pour over the herb-flavoured oil and top with the fish fillets. Chop 1 lemon into quarters and place between the fillets. Season well. To make a crumble topping, heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan. Finely chop 1 clove garlic and add to the pan with the chilli. Cook for 2 minutes, and then add the finely grated zest of 1 lemon, breadcrumbs and parsley. Fry, stirring, for 3-4 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are golden and starting to crisp. Sprinkle over the fish. Roast for 20 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through

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