WE call them courgettes, but they are called zucchini in Italy, the United States and Australia.

They are a member of the marrow family and if left unpicked, will go on growing to a gigantic size. However, they really are best if harvested when six to eight inches long and while the skin is tender and the flesh succulent.

This is the time of the year when friends who have been growing them in their allotments and gardens are harvesting them on a daily basis and handing them to anyone who can use them.

As courgettes don't respond well to being frozen (like strawberries, they tend to go very soft when thawed), the best way of coping with this summer glut is to turn them into soup and freeze that, or simply add them to as many dishes as you can.

Dropping slices of courgettes into a casserole just before it is removed from the oven, so that they don't overcook, is one way of using them up, and turning them into salads to serve with a barbecue is another.

This recipe serves four as a side dish.

You will need: 4 medium-sized courgettes One clove garlic - crushed and chopped fine Small bunch fresh marjoram Grated zest and juice of one lemon 4 tbspns virgin olive oil Salt and freshly-ground black peppercorns to season Method: Using a sharp potato peeler, cut the courgettes into strips longways and place in a bowl Pluck the leaves from the marjoram and add them to the sliced courgettes Add the chopped garlic, half the lemon zest, the juice of one lemon and the olive oil, and season Stir the mix, cover and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for three to four hours Toss and taste, adding more olive oil if you wish Scatter the remaining grated lemon zest over the top and serve as side salad.