Sunday, August 19, 2012

What to do with those courgettes (zucchinis)

First of the season in June
Most people I know who grow veggies grow courgettes. Most people I know who grow courgettes have an abundance (note to self; 2 plants are plenty for our family). Fortunately we all like them in their basic form - sautéed, griddled or steamed however to have a few recipes up your sleeve is great for when the glut kicks in and those lurking under the leaf canopy turn into bloated beasts.

Courgette or marrow pakora
2 cups of finely chopped marrow
2 small red onions chopped
2 green chillies chopped (more if you want them hotter)
3 cups of gram flour
approx 1 1/2 cups of water
handful of chopped curry leaves
Pinch of salt
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp gram masala

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl.  Stir in the onion and marrow.  Gradually add the water to the flour mixture until a stiff batter forms.  You may not need all of the water.  Leave for 30 mins.

Heat oil (I used peanut oil) to just smoking point. We shallow fried so had about 3" depth of oil. Drop about a tablespoon of mixture into the oil and turn frequently until golden on all sides. Drain on paper towel and scoff.

Courgette chocolate cake
120g butter
125ml sunflower oil
100g castor sugar
200g soft brown sugar
3 eggs beaten
130ml milk
350g plain flour
2tsp baking powder  
4 tbsp cocoa
450g courgettes finely grated
1tsp vanilla 

Grease and line a 20 x 35cm tin.  Preheat oven to 180oC. Grate the courgettes first, draining off any excess liquid.

Mix the butter, oil and sugars until light and fluffy.  Gradually add the eggs, a little at a time then the milk to the fats and sugar.  Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa together then fold into the mixture.  Stir in the courgettes and vanilla.

Spoon into the tin. Bake for 25-35mins until firm on the top and skewer comes out clean.  Cut into squares whilst still warm. It is a variation of carrot cake, moist and delicious!

This picture is from the Little Green blog as I forgot to take a picture of my finished cake!

Smashed courgette dip
This is a Jamie Oliver recipe

extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1-2 small red dried chillies crumbled 
(or fresh red if you have them in your garden)
Jamie says 6-8 small courgettes cut into chunks - I say use as many as you need to use up
salt & pepper
handful of mint, chopped
juice of one lemon

Put a good dash of olive oil into a hot pan and fry the garlic and chilli for a few minutes.  Add the courgettes and stir to coat them.  

Turn the heat down to low and put a lid on the pan.  Leave them for a good 30mins, giving them a shake now and then so they don't stick on the bottom. When the courgettes are really soft and mostly broken up take them off the heat.  Add a good dash of olive oil, lemon juice & mint.  Give them a taste, they may need more S&P and a chopped fresh chilli if you like things hot.  Serve with pitta chips or toasted bread.

Our courgette plants are coming to the end of their life so these recipes will not come out again for another year. I like that; I think you call it seasonal cooking.

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