So autumn has snuck up on me! A couple festivals and a big trip to America and somehow the summer vegetable bonanza is almost over and I haven’t blogged nearly as many recipes as I meant to.
Luckily there is a summer veggie which carries on into September and just keeps on giving. If, like me, you haven’t made it to your garden or allotment in weeks and you’re a bit scared to go because of the amount of courgettes (aka zucchini or summer squash in the USA) that might have sprouted up since you were last there, fear not – I have been building up the recipe list for these little beauties for a few years now so you don’t have to be afraid of them anymore.
My top recipes for courgettes, summer squash and zucchini:
- Fritters: The ever-dependable Delia comes up with a simple but effective recipe to win over any courgette-haters – just grate and fry and you’ll be amazed how tasty those watery looking veg can be. A must try.
- Pasta: When I get home late and need a quick meal, this is one of my favourite options. Boil whatever pasta shape you have to hand and reserve some of the water when draining. Stir in grated courgette, grated cheese (Parmesan is best but others will do fine too), a splash of pasta water and season well. Stir over a warm stove for a minute or two until the sauce comes together – adding more cheese, water or seasoning to taste. So easy and infinitely adaptable – add frozen peas, spinach, lemon zest, herbs or whatever other quick additions you’ve got in the cupboard. Or try adding grated courgette to other dishes, like this whole-grain salad. Another quick way to make courgette is to chop and roast for 15-20 minutes at 190C with plenty of oil and seasoning – they go all caramelised and melt in your mouth when stirred into pasta… or just about anything else.
- Salad: Particularly good for young, small courgettes, this recipe is simple and unexpectedly delicious – cut the courgettes into thin ribbons using a vegetable peeler or cheese slicer and add the dressing to create a fresh, summery salad.
- Chutney: For larger courgettes or marrows, chutney is a great way to use them up and create something new which can be eaten all winter long – it almost makes me wish for those cold nights with wine and cheese, mmmm. (or try this courgette pickle for an Indian flavoured preserve)
- Souffle: Perfect for turning your courgettes into a dish fit for entertaining – souffle has a reputation for being tricky but it’s actually so much easier than it sounds so great for impressing company.
- Soup: Good for using up a few courgettes in one go, you might be surprised how tasty they can be when blitzed with a few summer herbs and some good quality stock and cream.
- 2-3 courgettes, sliced into rounds
- 4-5 medium potatoes, thinly sliced
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 250ml double cream
- 100g grated Gruyere cheese (or substitute whatever you have to hand – Parmesan would also work well)
- garlic powder
- butter and seasoning
- Preheat your oven to 200C.
- Assemble the ingredients in a large, buttered ovenproof dish – layering potato, then onion, then courgette, then dotting with butter, seasoning and some garlic and repeating the process until the dish is full.
- Pour the double cream over and sprinkle the top with grated cheese.
- Cover and bake for about 50 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through. Remove the cover at the end to help the cheese brown if necessary.
- Serve as a main with a salad on the side or as a side dish.
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