Rosie and I have spent the morning in the garden getting the soil ready for some more planting. I used the hoe, Rosie used her paws. All the while next door’s tortoise-shell cat sat on top of the high wooden fence giving me the evil eye as she seethed over my blatant favouritism: So when the puppy digs in your garden, it’s cute . But I sleep on your sorrel and it’s a hanging offence? Pah!
My courgette plants (which are too awkward to be slept upon) are doing particularly well. I’d say I have a glut of courgettes but “glut” is such an ugly word, implying I’m unhappy about the situation. I’m really not! Perhaps “abundance” would be better. Yes, abundance. I have an abundance of courgettes. Courgettes which will turn into marrows in no time at all if I don’t keep picking them. A glut of marrows would not be a good thing as there is only so much you can do with such bland, watery vegetables.
So I’m on a mission to eat a lot of courgettes this week.
My usual use of courgettes (and D’s favourite) would be to slice them length ways, drizzle with olive oil and griddle until stripey. Delicious but there is only so much griddling a girl can take.
And then we have the next three recipes. I made each for the first time this week and each was delightful in its own way.
Moroccan Spiced Courgettes (side-dish for 2)
Think I might add breadcrumbs to the onion paste next time I make this. More cripsy bits!
2 medium courgettes, quartered lengthways
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 tspn chilli flakes or fresh chilli
1/2 tspn paprika
1/2 tspn cumin
- Whizz the onion, garlic, spices and a good drizzle of olive oil in a food processor until it creates a paste. Season well.
- Place courgette sticks in an oven proof dish and coat with the paste.
- Cover and bake in a pre-heated oven at 190oC for 20 minutes.
- Uncover, baste courgettes and bake for another 15 minutes until golden.
- Serve alone or with some coriander and yogurt
Courgettes and Bacon (for 2 as a side or 1 for dinner)
Inspired by Elizabeth David’s recipe in Summer Cooking this is not a light dish. It’s oily and salty and absolutely divine.
2 medium courgettes, quartered lengthways and cut into 2cm chunks
4 rashers of unsmoked bacon, roughly chopped
1 tblspn olive oil
1 clove of garlic, chopped finely
- Fry the bacon in the olive oil over a low heat until it renders most of its fat.
- Remove bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Increase the heat slightly and fry the courgettes for 5 mins stirring frequently to stop them from sticking to the pan.
- Add the bacon to the pan and continue to fry over a medium heat until the bacon crisps up and the courgettes turn golden.
- Season with black pepper.
Tomato and Quinoa Stuffed Courgette Flowers (for 2 as a starter)
This was pure experiment. Was extremely happy with the results.
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tblspn tomato puree
1 tomato, deseeded and finely chopped
1 tspn basil, chopped
1 tspn parsley, chopped
2 large courgette flowers, stamen removed and rinsed
- Soften the onion and garlic in a little olive oil.
- Stir in the tomato puree and the quinoa. Add the water and bring to the boil.
- Cover the pan and reduce the heat slightly. Simmer for 15 mins or until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water.
- Fluff up the cooked quinoa and stir in the tomato, basil and parsley. Season carefully.
- Pull back the petals of the courgette flowers and fill with the quinoa mixture. Close the petals.
- Place stuffed flowers in a heat proof dish. Brush flowers lightly with olive oil and place under a medium grill for 5-8 mins or until the flowers get a little crispy around the edges.