They can be found all year round and often in winter their price increase per kilo is the yardstick that measures the rigidity of the climate. They are the typical vegetable courgettes in this season, they are vegetables that need a sunny climate to ripen, a characteristic this, also indicated by their singular scientific name, cucurbita pepo, where the Greek pépon means precisely “ripened in the sun”. Zucchini, like some other very popular products, including tomatoes and potatoes, arrived in Spain in 1500 imported from the Americas by Columbus. Yet it was precisely in Italy that the various types of current zucchini, spread throughout the globe, were “derived” through crosses (so much so that the word “zucchini” is also used in English). Italy is still one of the largest producers of this vegetable in the world.

The varieties proposed by SIPO are the “Zucchino Ortolano” (light green) and the “Zucchino Nero” (dark green) of Romagna cultivation and Italian excellence. The most common proposals in European markets are undoubtedly the long dark and cylindrical courgette; round courgette, particularly popular for recipes that require a filling; and the patisson courgette, tasty and white, yellow or orange in color.

Composed of 90% water, courgette has a delicate flavor and a very high satiating power which, combined with very few calories (18 per 100g), makes it a perfect ingredient for any type of slimming diet. Detoxifying and diuretic, courgettes are rich in potassium and vitamins A, C and E, also proving to be good allies for health.

The marinated and spicy Zucchini Salad with toasted pine nuts and feta is an easy and delicious side dish perfect for summer meals.


500 g of thinly sliced zucchini
130 g diced feta
75 g toasted pine nuts
1-2 finely chopped red chillies
For the marinade:
30 ml extra virgin olive oil
30 ml fresh lemon juice
1-2 cloves of crushed garlic
salt and black pepper


Cut the courgettes into thin slices using a sharp knife or mandolin. Put the sliced courgettes in a large bowl. To prepare the marinade, combine the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, crushed garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl and beat well. Pour the marinade over the raw zucchini and toss to coat. Leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes but up to 24 hours. When ready to serve, garnish the marinated courgettes with toasted pine nuts, feta cheese and finely chopped red pepper.