July is about growing plants to eat.

(This month I’m looking at edible gardens – an allotment, herb gardens, a potager or even a single tomato plant. If you want to go bigger then why not a rice terrace in China, a field of corn in the prairies or lavender in Provence; you decide )

Where did courgettes come from? As a child of the fifties they weren’t around. All we had to eat were those large tasteless marrows, sometimes stuffed with minced meat and sliced. I didn’t eat them along with turnips and swede and parsnips. The only vegetables that passed my lips were potatoes, carrots, beans, peas and brassicas – my favourite meal was a jacket potato and cabbage and I even loved that much maligned vegetable the sprout (still do). But fast-forward several decades and not only are courgettes popular in recipes, they also come in different colours. Even the flowers can be stuffed and dipped in batter and deep-fried. Or added to salads. Edible flowers. Didn’t have those in the fifties either.

courgette-(3)

Best to pick this vegetable whilst it is young and tender. Don’t boil it as it goes mushy, rather use in a stir fry or grill it or lightly sauté in butter or olive oil or thinly sliced and eaten raw. A glut can be used to make chutney, soups, or even added to a cake mix.

courgette-(2)

Known as zucchini  in the USA, Germany and Australia from the Italian word zucchina or simply squash or baby marrows in other parts of the world. The word courgette comes from France. Although considered a vegetable in the culinary sense, botanically it is actually a fruit.

courgette-(1)

My first encounter with courgettes was as a young au pair in Switzerland where I worked for an Anglo-Italian family. Courgette/zucchini is a key ingredient in ratatouille, and this was the first dish I ever made using them.

If you would like to join in with Garden Photography then please take a look at my Garden Photography Page. No complicated rules 🙂

  • Create your own post and title it JulyThe Edible Garden
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Add the tag “GardenChallenge” so everyone can find the posts easily in the WP Reader
  • Get your post in by the end of the month, as the new theme comes out on the first Sunday in August.
  • Please visit the sites in the comments to see what others are posting.
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32 thoughts on “garden photography: summer squash

  1. Zucchinis are delicious and so easy to grow, but be careful. They grow really big really fast and turn into monsters overnight in hot weather. I have a very nice recipe for zucchini slice, which is useful when they all grow at once. I love brussel sprouts too, Jude.

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    1. My daughter warned me about them. I have planted two, but only one seems to have germinated. Probably too late for it to do much now. I’m mainly interested in seeing what does grow this year, then next year I can start things off early.

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  2. I can’t remember when courgettes came to the UK, but I do remember my first encounter with peppers. My cookery teacher used to ask me to buy red and green peppers in the fruiterer near our home because nowhere else sold them. They were for goulash – a revelation! This would have been c 1970. I use them and courgettes nearly everyday now. Food has progressed a lot from the mince and tatties of my youth! I like sprouts too, don’t know why they are so reviled.

    Lovely pictures which make me hungry.

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  3. Lovely shots, Jude. You were going to get a courgette flower pic from me, but I think you’ve already covered all the angles 🙂 I’ll see what else I’ve got growing. Also like all those slightly sinister tendrils in the header photo – it’s as if they were heading out of my PC. Cripes!

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  4. It’s amazing how food has changed in our generation. Who would have thought we’d be eating flowers and all those exotic fruits and spices. I didn’t eat any brassicas as a child and still won’t. Courgettes have to be heavily disguised to make me eat them too!

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        1. We don’t eat as much red meat as we used to. I prefer fish, but hate bones in it. I didn’t eat meat at all for about 20 years either, but then had a craving for a steak!

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  5. You have grown the perfect zucchini! That middle one is it!!! And I know. I picked and sold thousands of them when we had a market garden in the early 80s: they were new to our part of the NSW south coast then. As for that tendril, it’s one of my favourite images of all time.

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    1. Sadly Meg, this isn’t one of mine. It was grown by my daughter a few years ago. I was fascinated by those tendrils, hadn’t seen anything like them before! So do you like eating them? As a vegan I expect you eat loads of veggies.

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  6. It must be the Italian half of my heritage, but zucchini are a much loved *vegetable*. From cake (a family favourite), raw in salads, grilled on the BBQ, stir fries, soups, …. omg, they are soooo versatile.
    Even the flowers deep fried in a light batter with parmigiano cheese sprinkled on them. This is all comfortable food to me. Yum.

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