101 ways with courgettes

Well, nearly!  I seem to be eating courgettes every day – keeping up nicely with the production of my three courgette plants and one acorn-type squash plant.

I got behind the production line to start with so froze sliced courgettes – a couple of minutes blanching then packed away in square tubs.  My friends asked ‘can you freeze courgettes?’ and I must admit, I didn’t think twice about it, just did it.  They’ll be fine to go in soups and stews in the winter, I’m sure.

4 courgettes around sweetcorn in a 1m square raised bed

At first I was mainly putting them in pasta sauce or just quick griddling them with some onion and mushroom and adding to pasta without really making a ‘sauce’.  Then I started exploring recipes a bit more… and found:

  • Courgettes with a lemon pepper crust (very easy)  – just slice in half lengthways, fry cut face down while making a sort of plain crumble mix with black pepper and lemon juice; press this mix on the cut surfaces, put in an ovenproof dish and bake for about 15-20 minutes.  Yummy.
  • Stuffed courgettes with ricotta and pinenuts – I didn’t have an apple corer but I still managed to get the centre out to leave a tube, albeit by cutting an access slot on one side.  Serve that on a bed of tomato sauce with tomatoes from the garden too.
  • Beetroot and courgette soup – two beetroot, two courgettes, grate into a pan in which you’ve already sauted a small onion (chopped); add stock to (just) cover and simmer for about 20 mins.  They say to blend and mix with creme fraiche but I think it’s nice with a bit more texture, and I used yoghurt.  It’s delicious.
  • Courgette and lettuce soup.  Cut the courgettes up into 1cm type cubes, saute with an onion then add stock and cook for about 20 mins or so.  Shred a lettuce and stir it in just before the end of the cooking time.  Season well.
  • Courgette fritters – its supposed to be a Turkish mezze dish, but it uses Feta cheese (although I finished the ricotta, so maybe it was a bit wetter than it should be).  Dice an onion, add the cheese, an egg, and quite a bit of plain flour (I added some gram flour although the recipe suggested rice flour).  Grate a lot of courgettes ( I think I used 3), salt them and leave to rest for 20 minutes, then squeeze and pat dry, then mix into the other ingredients.  Add some herbs.  I found the first ones I cooked a bit bland so I tried adding caraway to one part of the remaining mix, and cumin and cayenne to the rest.  That was very nice!  Fry a tablespoon’s worth of the batter mix pressing it down slightly, and turn to do the other side after a few minutes.  I ate a good mealful, then froze the rest.
  • Courgette pasta… just slice lengthways, about 2mm slices, and pop in salted boiling water for about ten seconds…. serve with the sauce of your choice.

I might get some peppers in a few days time and make some ratatouille… or maybe some gazpacho….  and then there’s another soup recipe….

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