THE GLUTS are around the corner and I’m getting ready, busy amassing my arsenal of blog recipes to deal with The Courgette Glut. You notice the capitalisation – well that’s how it’s said – with appropriate emphasis. Every year I plant 2 or 3 or maybe if I’m rash 4 courgette plants, you see I like variety in life and I like it in Courgettes – from pale green buttery tasting Cavili to Bright Yellows of Jemmer or the Knobbly Kneed skin of Crookneck Squash best picked and eaten the same day. Courgettes don’t have to be watery, bitter, dark green or huge. They can come in many shapes and sizes, with gentle flavours and textures to match.
As the first flutter of courgettes are picked I tried a recipe I’ve had in mind for AGES, The Kale Chronicle’s Courgette and Feta Pancakes. The instant I read the ingredients they reminded me of Greek summer holidays, sitting at a beach taverna, sipping on a cool beer watching the sun go down and starting the evening meal with courgette or chickpea fritters.
Sharyn’s version is much lighter and fluffier than those I’ve had on Greek Islands, with the egg whites separated and beaten until white and fluffy which are added at the end to the mix of egg yolks, feta, herbs and flour. The herbs are a must – try them with mint or dill or maybe some Oregano for that hint of a Greek summer. Simply sauté the pancakes in oil and butter and serve with a green salad or perhaps the first of this years red tomatoes to ripen. For a beautiful painted picture and the recipe pop over to Sharyn’s blog.
So when I’m short of ideas and big on courgettes I’ll turn to my list of courgette recipes. Many use ordinary courgettes, but you can use summer squash at will, some have been adapted from winter recipes that were originally made with pumpkins, but as long as you give the courgettes and squash some time or salt to drain the liquid from them you’ll be fine.
Happy Summer Cooking and Eating. And if all else fails I recommend knock-down-ginger, a game of leaving a bag of courgettes and then knocking on your neighbours door and running. Fast !
COURGETTES AS THE HIGHLIGHT OF A SUMMER MEAL ~
1. Simple Summer Pasta – quickly sauté courgettes and summer garden veggies of peppers and tomatoes and mix into linguine – light and super-fast
2. Ready Steady Cook salads –Simple Summer Salads - just add lemon, olive oil and mint
3. Summer Couscous Salad – of red onions, courgettes, peppers and herbs
4. Moroccan Style Courgette Salad – a delightful and heady mix of dry roasted cumin and coriander seeds, paired with mint and rocket, and served at room temperature
PICKLED COURGETTES ~
5. Courgette Pickle – when in a glutty courgette pickle make a quick and simple fridge pickle
BAKED COURGETTES ~
6. If it’s not too hot to bake try Crown Courgette Bread – I defy anyone to realise they are eating courgettes, a perfect savoury bread for a summer supper
7. Use an Allotment Winter Quiche for summer inspiration using Chard and Courgettes, topped with tomatoes and a grating of your favourite cheese
8. Franco Italian Chard and Spinach – just add courgettes into the creamy mêlée and voila – what’s not to love about a gratin !
9. A Summery Winter Panzanella – think Italian summer and play with a classic warm salad with croutons and replace the winter squash and Brussels with courgettes, tomatoes and basil
COURGETTE SNACKS ~
10. Indian Style Pumpkin Fritters – switch the pumpkin for courgette or summer squash and you have an Indian Summer Fritter
SPICY COURGETTES ~
11. Courgette and Potato Masala – what’s not to love in a light and mild curry
12. Green Bean Thoran with courgettes – South Indian cooking at its best, light, fresh and quick – no big sauces and as hot as you like letting the flavours of mustard seeds and curry leaves shine through
13. Thai Yellow Curry with Squash – quintessential Thai Curry flavours but with a courgette twist
HIDDEN COURGETTES ~
14. In a Saturday Samosa – mix diced courgettes in with potatoes and peas and you have the perfect Tiffin
And I haven’t even touched on simply frying a sliced courgette and adding it to an omlette (or Frittata if your prefer), chopped raw alongside tomatoes and fresh coriander and a squeeze of lime for a Salsa, or sauté ribbons of courgettes and pasta, then there is baking breakfast muffins (which is next of THE LIST) or added as pizza toppings, hidden in rissoles or mixed into a potato salad, let alone in risotto or Stuffed Courgettes.
You see there is a myriad of choice when dealing with a Courgette and Summer Squash Glut. And I nearly forgot to mention grated raw in Fresh Vietnamese Style Spring Rolls which takes the tally up to 16. I have a feeling this list could run and run!