It’s that time again. The time you think will never come so in the spring you plant one more of this and one more of that. The weather this year has been particularly challenging – cold winds battering seedlings, followed by cold and persistent rain which stunted the growth of warm climate plants and then brought forth the snail invasion. They, along with their cousins the slugs, started eating things they didn’t normally bother with – like hairy baby courgettes. So you sow one or two extra and what do you end up with but courgettes coming out of your ears. Now, I long for courgettes in January and, although I try to eat seasonally, I might sneak one into my shopping basket. Such a treat. But in August I’m sick of them… I have fried them, steamed them, baked them, roasted them, pickled them, put them in cakes, fritters, soups, sauces, muffins. I thought, therefore, that I’d put some simple recipes down.
The simplest way to cook courgettes is to sauté them slowly with garlic. You can toss them in a bit of flour. Add black pepper and lemon juice – or Japanese ume sauce which really perks them up. Elizabeth David has another simple classic way, which is to slice them (2kg for 4-6 people), salt them and leave them to stand for 30 minutes in a colander. This stops them soaking up too much oil. They may need rinsing if they are too salty. Cook them in 125g of butter on a very low heat. Add half a kilo of peeled and chopped tomatoes after about ten minutes and cook for another ten minutes.
This next very easy recipe was given to me by an American friend.
1 cup oil
At least 1 1/2 cup sugar
2 cups zucchini (grated and drained)
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda/ bicarb
3 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt
Mix all together and bake in a well-buttered dish at 375F for 45 mins.
I did have a recipe for grated courgette fritters with feta but I can’t find it. Will carry on the search and update this as it’s a good one and uses up a lot of them.