Courgettes originated in Italy and were popular in the Mediterranean region hundreds of years before they became popular in the rest of the western world.
They are members of the summer squash family. Some people also refer to them as baby marrows.
Courgettes are also called zucchini. Usually green-skinned and yellow-skinned varieties are available. Courgettes are at their best when 16-20 cm long. They grow on the plant behind a yellow flower. If they are picked small, the flower may be still attached. Rarely seen for sale because they are so difficult to transport, the flower attached to the courgette is highly prized and it is often stuffed and served in restaurant meals.
These are small and spherical and the skin is usually a pale green to bright yellow. Dark green varieties are also available. Scallopini are prepared in the same way as courgettes. The shape of the scallopini makes them particularly appealing.
What to look for
Choose summer squash that have glossy blemish-free skins. Avoid any that show signs of softening or withering.
All year; however main season is October - April.
Refrigerate in plastic bags. Use promptly.
How to prepare
Courgettes and scallopini are very versatile and easy to prepare. Trim the stalk end off, slice and eat raw or cooked. There is no need to peel them.
Ways to eat
Slice across the courgette for stir fries and halve or slice into strips for char grilling or barbecues. Courgettes can be grated or finely chopped and used in salads, flans or quiches. Like carrots they make moist cakes and breads.
Bake, braise, grill/char grill/barbecue, microwave, roast, steam, stew, stir fry, stuff.
|Serving size: ½ cup diced - 111.8g|
|Fat, total (g)||0.2||0.3%||0.2|
|- saturated (g)||trace||0%||trace|
|- sugars (g)||0.7||0.7%||0.6|
|Dietary fibre (g)||1.2||4%||1.1|
|Vitamin C (mg)||12.3||31% RDI*||11.0||A good source of vitamin C|
|Folate (µg)||25||12% RDI*||22||A source of folate|
|Niacin (mg)||11||11% RDI*||1||A source of niacin|
|Potassium (mg)||413||370||Contains potassium|
|Vitamin E (mg)||0.91||9% RDI*||0.81|
|Vitamin A Equiv. (µg)||55||7% RDI*||49|
|Iron (mg)||0.6||5% RDI*||0.5|
|Thiamin (mg)||trace||0% RDI*||trace|
|Riboflavin (mg)||trace||0% RDI*||trace|
Percentage Daily Intakes are based on an average adult diet of 8700 kJ
Source: The Concise New Zealand Food Composition Tables, 10th Edition, Plant & Food Research - 2014
Courgettes are a good source of vitamin C and a source of folate and niacin. They are also one of the highest potassium containing vegetables.
Display in refrigerated shelving 2-3 layers deep. Handle very carefully as the skin is easily damaged. Courgettes and other summer squash are ethylene sensitive, so store away from ethylene producing fruits and vegetables. Use the QR code on labels.
Store at 7–10ºC with a relative humidity of 90-98%. Lower temperatures will cause chilling damage.
Purchase courgettes and scallopini with the New Zealand GAP logo.
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