Our kitchen garden cook reveals her favourite recipes with courgettes.

I was given a spiralizer from which I now make what I call courgetti. You simply twist the courgettes around in it, rather like a pencil in a sharpener, and they’re transformed into spaghetti-like pieces that, once covered with pasta sauce, no one seems to realise are, in fact, a bowl of healthy vegetables and, believe me, my critics at home are fierce.

Pan-fried marinated halibut with almond and lemon-pesto ‘courgetti’ (serves 4)

Ingredients

For the halibut
4 fillets of halibut (or other firm white fish, but halibut is exceptionally healthy)
A generous splash of olive oil
2 cloves crushed garlic
A generous squeeze of lemon juice

Seasoning
4 large courgettes
For the pesto
2 large handfuls fresh basil
1 large handful fresh parsley
1 small handful mint
2 cloves garlic
1 red chilli
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
120g almonds, without skin
200ml extra-virgin olive oil
A few handfuls fresh watercress

Method
Combine the olive oil, crushed garlic, lemon juice and seasoning in a freezer bag. Add the halibut fillets and leave to marinate in the fridge for an hour.

Prepare the pesto by pulsing the basil, parsley, mint, garlic, chilli, lemon zest and juice, almonds and olive oil in a blender into a paste. Set aside until ready to use.

Add a splash of olive oil to a large saucepan and heat until smoking. Add the fish fillets and pour the marinade from the freezer bag over them. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side to sear before reducing the heat and cooking for a further 3–4 minutes on each side or until the centre is opaque.

Hold the courgettes in the spiralizer and repeatedly turn. Blanch the results in a pot of salted boiling water for about 4 minutes before draining.

To serve, toss the courgette spaghetti with the pesto and serve with the pan-fried halibut and a lightly dressed watercress salad.

More ways with courgettes

Courgette soup with chorizo crumble
Add 3 chopped courgettes, 1 chopped red onion, 1 clove garlic, 1 carrot, 1 small potato, a handful mixed, fresh herbs and 600ml chicken stock to a saucepan. Simmer until everything is tender, then blitz with a stick blender and add a splash of cream. Serve with a scattering of chorizo crumble made by frying diced chorizo, crushed garlic, fresh breadcrumbs and mixed herbs. Serve with crusty rolls.

Courgette and couscous salad
Slice 2 courgettes into rounds, 1 red and 1 yellow pepper into strips and cut a red onion into eighths. Place them all on a baking sheet and cover with olive oil before roasting in a moderately hot oven. Add 400ml hot chicken stock to 200g couscous before fluffing with a fork and add the roasted vegetables and some rocket to it. Stir well and add 2 chopped preserved lemons. Pour a dressing over it, made by adding harissa paste to a classic vinaigrette and serve. Works well served with barbecued lamb.

 

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