Zucchini is one of the emblems of Mediterranean cuisine. But how did this tropical vegetable conquer European palates?
In the 15th century, gourds swept across Europe from the ships of Christopher Columbus. The Italians had the idea, three centuries later, of tasting certain varieties of the vegetable before they were fully ripe. Thus is born the courgette. The word did not appear in the French language until 1929. From Italy, the vegetable has spread throughout the south of France. He becomes a star of Provençal, Occitan or Nice cuisine. Even today, Provence-Alpes Côte-d´Azur remains the leading French production region.
An unexpected reserve of freshness
95% water ... The courgette is above all another way to quench your thirst during the hot season. Its low caloric intake as well as its high fiber or magnesium content make it the ally of any balanced diet. The vegetable is also a good source of pectin. This substance gently stimulates the delicate intestines.
Choose smooth, firm zucchini with skin without dark spots. Fragile, they will keep for less than a week in the refrigerator.
Recipe: Italian-style zucchini toast
Ingredients for 4 persons :
- 3 zucchini, 2 tbsp. tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 sprig of rosemary,
- 3 sprigs of thyme,
- 2 handfuls of arugula,
- 4 slices of Parma ham,
- 80 g of parmesan shavings,
- some capers, salt and pepper.
Wash and dry the zucchini. Cut them into thick slices lengthwise. Using a brush coated with olive oil, brush the zucchini slices then sprinkle with the rosemary and the thyme leaves. Salt and pepper.
In the oven, toast the zucchini slices for 10 minutes on each side. Roughly chop the arugula. Season it with a dash of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Cut the Parma ham into strips.
Out of the oven, place on each slice of zucchini a little chopped arugula, a few strips of ham and shavings of Parmesan.
Finish with the capers.
- To discover: our recipes with zucchini
Photo credit: Italian-style courgette toast: © Philippe Dufour / Interfel