An easy-to-make dish with zucchini, sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese

In a culinary context, zucchini is considered a vegetable, which means it is usually cooked and served as a savoury dish or as an accompaniment. It is also known as courgette and is commonly consumed in France, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Zucchini is usually picked when under 20 cm (8 in) in length, and the seeds are still soft and immature. The larger ones are often fibrous. Zucchini can be prepared using a variety of cooking techniques — steaming, boiling, grilling, stuffing and baking it, barbecueing, frying, or incorporating it into other recipes such as soufflés. Zucchini has a delicate flavour, requiring little more than quick cooking with butter or olive oil, with or without fresh herbs. The skin is left in place with the juices concentrated in the final moments of frying when the water has evaporated.

Zucchini can also be eaten raw, sliced or shredded in a cold salad, as well as lightly cooked in hot salads, as in Thai or Vietnamese recipes. In Italy, zucchini is served in a variety of ways, especially breaded and pan-fried.

Some restaurants in Rome specialise in deep-frying the flowers, known as fiori di zucca.

In France, zucchini is a key ingredient in ratatouille. It is also served as a side dish or on its own with bread.

Zucchini is stuffed with meat with other vegetables such as tomatoes or bell peppers in a dish called courgette farcie (stuffed zucchini).

The vegetable is low in calories and contains useful amounts of folate, potassium and vitamin A.

Now, for a recipe.

Crunchy Zucchini Rounds with Sundried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

Ingredients

Zucchini: 300 gm

Salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil: 40 gm

Goat cheese: 50 gm

Chopped chives: 40 gm

Extra virgin olive oil: 70 ml

Method: Slice zucchini into quarter-inch thick rounds. (You should have about 24 slices.)

Lay the slices out on a large platter; season with salt and pepper. Place a sun-dried tomato on each slice, and then top each tomato with a pinch of goat cheese. Sprinkle tops with chopped chives, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve.

Executive Sous Chef

Taj Club House

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