We always grow too many courgettes. Four plants for a family of three is ridiculous. I thought I had persuaded Ian that two plants would be fine this year but somehow he sneaked another one in. So three plants should be better than the four we had last year. They should be producing enough to use and to give away but not so much that I can't get in the door for piled up produce. But nobody told them. The hot July sun and now the intense stormbursts of rain are making courgettes bubble up out the garden like the suds from the bucket in The Sorcerer's Apprentice.
Turn your back on them for an hour or so and they grow from this, rather beautiful and demure flower:
to this (note egg cup for size!)
So yesterday was courgette day. All day long I cooked with courgettes. I made courgette soup. This is easy and really delicious.
1 onion, chopped
1 glove of garlic, chopped
1-2 cm piece of root ginger, crushed or chopped
3-4 normally sized courgettes, diced into pieces of about 1cm square
good vegetable stock such as Marigold
1 tin of coconut milk
Sweat the onion, garlic and ginger for a few minutes in a little oil. Add the courgettes and continue to cook gently for a few more minutes. Meanwhile make up about half a litre of stock and pour over the vegetable mix. Leave to simmer gently with a lid on for about fifteen minutes. When the courgettes are soft, add the tin of coconut milk, stir all together and check the seasoning. I usually add a little salt and black pepper and sometimes a bit of ground coriander if I am feeling like something slightly spicier. Whizz the soup in a blender or (easier) with a handheld stick blender directly in the pan. It should be pale green and creamy.
Even children who claim they don't like courgettes like this with crusty bread and Welsh butter.
So that was lunch.
Then I made a courgette quiche for supper, adding grated courgette, sweated onion and grated cheese to a pastry case that I had baked blind for fifteen minutes. I whisked together four new laid eggs with a little left over double cream, poured it over the grated mix and baked the quiche for twenty five minutes at 180 degrees. I should have taken a photo of it as it came out of the oven, all puffed up and golden but we were too busy eating it. Even today it looks pretty appetising.
And to follow that, which we had with new potatoes from the garden and cucumber and tomatoes from the greenhouse, I made a courgette cake. By this time I was pushing it! What if Ian and his Dad went into courgette revolt?
This is a Nigel Slater recipe, really easy and totally delicious. The only possible downside is that it only uses two fairly small courgettes! It was moist and slightly spicy with the cinnamon. You really would not guess that courgettes were an ingredient. It simply tastes like a good tea loaf. Once again someone got to it with the knife before I got to it with the camera!
So how many courgettes did I have left at the end of a marathon courgette cooking day?
This many. The joys of growing your own.
But it did all taste good!