The Plentiful Courgette

Enjoying the Abundance

It’s that time again when we really reap the rewards of all our hard work throughout the year. It’s enough to turn our backs on the courgette patches for only a few hours and here they are, grown and ready to pick. Yes, you guessed it, I’m going to share with you some ideas and information about courgettes so we can all make the most of their abundance during this season.

The courgettes are also known as summer squash and can grow up to a metre in length if we are busy with something else and forget to harvest them in time. Loads of Vitamin C, potassium and water is what mostly makes up a courgette. Long, short, squat, fat and slim courgettes – on our farm we have them all! They can also be deep green, tiger-skinned or bright yellow. It’s all courgette though. Now the question is, what we can do with all these beauties? Plenty, as you’ll see.

When you haven’t got much time for cooking, slice them thinly, season with soy sauce and a little bit of cooking oil and grill them quickly – a perfect side to any grilled meat. Courgettes go well with garlic, natural yoghurt, dill or fennel. Soups, curries, stir-fries, pickles – courgettes are ideal for them all. Here are some recipes…

Courgette Soup

The soup that I like making with courgettes is a simple blended soup. Stir-fry chopped courgettes, onion and little bit of potato. Pour in boiling water and cook until the potatoes are done. Add olive oil and whizz everything together. In a side bowl mix 1 egg, natural yoghurt and a squeeze of lemon. Start pouring small quantities from the hot soup into the egg and yoghurt mixture while stirring. Transfer it back to the pot and sprinkle with dill.

Savoury Courgette Tart

You need to allow more time for this one. Chop the courgettes lengthways in 1 inch slices. Season with salt and leave for about an hour to remove some of their liquid. Meanwhile make a dip with natural yoghurt, garlic and loads of dill. Dry out the slices with a tea towel and dip them into an egg and flour mixture. Fry until golden. Layer the tart into a square or rectangular dish – one layer of courgettes, one layer of yoghurt dip. Leave in the fridge for a few hours before serving.

Courgette & Turmerickle Pickle

This one is an ideal get-together opportunity for friends who love chopping! I got this recipe last year from Gaye, our baker. It works well with both courgettes and cucumbers. I recommend making at least two batches at once because it’s delicious and gets eaten really quickly! For one batch you need: 1.5 kg courgettes or cucumbers (or both), 700g white onions, 80g sea salt, 500ml cider vinegar, 350g demerara sugar, 4 teaspoons mustard seeds, a few whole cloves, 1/2 tablespoon turmeric powder. The Method (this is when the extra pairs of hands are helpful): Slice the courgettes very thinly and mix with the salt. Thinly slice the onions too. In the original recipe it says to leave overnight to extract the liquid, but it takes about 4 to 6 hours to drain most of the water. When the slices are sufficiently drained, mix the vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, cloves and turmeric in a cooking pot. Heat to dissolve the sugar and add the courgettes and onions to it. Bring to the boil and cook for 1 minute. Transfer the veg into sterilised jars (wash them with hot water beforehand), aiming to keep most of the liquid in the pot. Bring the liquid back to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Pour into the jars over the vegetables and screw the lids on tightly. It can keep for several months.

That’s about it for today. Loads of cooking ahead so I’d better get going. If you are as excited about all the glorious courgettes as I am and need more, don’t forget to add them to your order for next week before Sunday midnight.

Pavlina

Courgette & Turmerickle Pickle