It comes as no surprise that this month’s Chez Foti ‘Veg of the Month’ is the far from humble Courgette. Since my first picking of one on the 21st of June we’ve chomped our way through a considerable number (I’d love to know how many) and in quite an array of meals…and cakes! Barely a meal’s gone by without some sort of courgettie addition or side. It’s a good job I love them so much, which is more than can be said for my husband (his loving or rather non-loving of courgettes I meant). Though I should point out that considering he isn’t exactly their number one fan he’s been exceptionally tolerant of the whole Courgette Situation.
As I said in earlier blogs I didn’t intend to have NINE plants, I was aiming at four, but there was some sort of mix up in the seed planting. Luckily we’ve had people staying most of the last month who’ve helped in the Courgette Cause and I’ve also managed to palm quite a few off on any unsuspecting dropper-byers. So we’re almost on top of the situation, at least for now.
Courgettes are a virgin veggie growers dream. Easy to germinate, quick-growing (though maybe not this year in the waterlogged UK), free from most diseases and pests and extremely fruitful. Give them a go, you won’t be disappointed.
Courgettes are so incredibly versatile in the kitchen and a wonder veg to cook with. And this last month I’ve certainly challenged their versatility to the max in the Chez Foti kitchen. They’ve been liberally adding to many a gorgeously fragrant Thai Green Curry (they really do work amazingly well in all curries), Ratatouile (recipe soon!), Risottos, Paella, various Omelettes and Tortillas, each and every Stir Fry I’ve made, an assortment of pasta dishes including Courgette & Sausage Carbonara (and also with bacon), my Garden Pasta (recipe coming shortly) and Courgette & Pesto Pasta.
Courgettes have also featured in all our Barbecues (and we’ve been having quite a few this month), they’ve been dipped in lemon, olive oil, sea salt & pepper and barbecued (or on the stove in a griddle pan) in strips as a veggie side or served like this on Bruschetta with Feta & Basil. They’ve been kebabed with other veggies marinated in olive oil and thyme, lemon thyme, oregano or rosemary and made into Veggie Kebabs or Greek Stylie Pork Kebabs.
The neglected ones have been successfully utilised in my 70s Throwback Stuffed Marrow and when we got really bored of eating them they were amazing in Nigella’s Courgette Cake with Homemade Lemon Curd and Lemon Frosting. The kids have loved them in Mamacook’s Courgette & Feta Bites (actually so’ve we, three batches made so far!) which are great for lunches, picnics or afternoon snacks. They’ve even been enjoyed raw in Bangers & Mash Chat’s Courgette & Oregano Flower Salad (quite the prettiest salad I’ve ever eaten) and in HFW’s Curried Courgette Salad (actually I ate this at a friend’s house and I must get the exact recipe).
With so many guests staying this month I actually haven’t got around to trying half as many recipes that I wanted to so here’s a few more ideas that I’m hoping to make before the courgette season’s out. Firstly there’s It’s Well Seasoned’s Lemon Courgette & Minted Feta Salad which I’ve been meaning to make for weeks, Kitchen Ninja’s Courgette Bread (actually Zucchini Bread, it’s American) that sounds divine, Riverford’s Chocolate Courgette Cake (from my Riverford Farm Cookbook), a Feta & Courgette Filo Pie that my mum’s been making for years from Bill Sewell’s From the Place Below book, Fried Courgette Flowers (in the two years since taking up gardening people have ALL asked me if I’ve tried making them, I MUST MUST do it!). Last but most certainly not least I’m seriously considering making Marrow Rum, though as it takes a year in the making could be a serious test of my normally-lacking patience!
So that’s it for this month’s round up, but I’d love to hear your favourite courgette recipes, ideas and uses. I’m certain we’ll be having plenty more courgettes yet this summer and I’m always game to find new and exciting ways of using them!. Whether I’ll still be married by the end of the summer is however not so certain
My August Veg of the Month is to be the Tomato. With 58 plants (cherries, beef and plums) all fruiting I’ll be needing your help in Project Tomato!. Please share with me your recipes and I’ll gladly try to make them over the course of the month.
Thanking you kindly for all the courgettie inspiration!