T’is the season of courgettes…
At this time of year the allotments and gardens are full of courgettes. But, don’t leave it too long to pick them or you will be picking marrows and having to be thinking of recipes for marrows rather than courgettes.
Possibly the simplest idea for courgettes is to cut them into finger size batons and simply sauté́ in good butter with fresh garlic and a little seasoning. Delish and very more-ish.
Or make a salad with them. Just grate them coarsely (skin and all) and toss in a little olive oil and lemon juice. Add freshly chopped dill, season, and drizzle with a little runny honey. Serve as they are. Better still combine the grated dressed courgettes with cooked bulgur wheat or couscous, lots of fresh mint and dill, chopped spring onions and chunks of feta cheese. A super salad to accompany our summer buffet menus.
Courgettes griddled on the barbecue are sublime – slice each vegetable into about 6 long thin ribbons, toss in a little oil and place straight on the barbecue or ‘George Forman’ or under the grill– let them char a little if you like. Then loosely pile up on a plate or board, drizzle with a little more olive oil and season. On the same plate or board place a rustic bowl of homemade houmous, plus little cherry tomatoes that have been sitting on an oven tray drizzled with oil and balsamic vinegar, in a medium oven for a couple of hours. Served with warm crusty ciabatta bread - what more could you want for a delicious meal?
Or cut these little squashes, which is what they basically are, into chunks and place on a skewer alternating with the same size of aubergine, onion and pepper pieces – place on an oven tray and drizzle over a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes. Or barbecue the skewers. You could even add pieces of pork or chicken.
Back in the early 2000s, there was a chef who said that her favourite dish was this…sauté sliced courgettes and onions for about 5 minutes, add chopped fresh garlic and the same quantity of fresh chopped tomatoes as courgettes. Cook for another 20 minutes or so until the tomatoes have mushed up and the ensuing sauce thickened. Season well especially fresh ground pepper. (You could also add chopped aubergines and peppers and make it into a ratatouille). Place in an oven proof dish and sprinkle the top with fresh breadcrumbs mixed with fresh grated parmesan. Bake in a hot oven for about 30 minutes until the top is golden and crisp. Decorate with torn fresh basil and devour.
However, if you have been on hols and your courgettes have grown into marrows – do the 1970s thing…Cut them into 5cm chunks. Cut out the middle flesh out so you have a hollow round . Fry the hollowed filling in chunks, until cooked. Add to your favourite mince bolognaise. Place the hollow marrow pieces onto an oven dish and pile the bolognaise back into the hollow marrow. Maybe top with some grated cheese or breadcrumbs combined with grated parmesan. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until the marrow is soft and cooked. Very retro and still very tasty
Sue and Tom Merrow Savouries