Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Clubbed to death by a giant courgette

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!

51 comments:

  1. I have a cracking recipe for courgette lasagne. I would make up individual 2-person portions that fit inside those aluminium take-away containers (with the cardboard lid - I think I got mine in Sainsburys but I know you can get them from Lakeland) and then freeze them. This is the recipe - it's dead easy and very, very tasty - http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/4716/creamy-courgette-lasagne

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    1. Oh thank you! Sounds great and we love lasagne. That is the task for tomorrow then.

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  2. Let your courgettes grow into marrows and then make my really delicious Marrow Lemon Curd - it is very moorish.
    http://wherefivevalleysmeet.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/marrow-lemon-curd.html

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    1. And any kind of lemon curd is a total favourite round here too. Thanks Rosemary!

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  3. All your recipes sound and look delicious!

    The lasagne mentioned by Mrs Jones sounds good as well, i shall check that out.

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    1. It does doesn't it. I don't know why making a lasagne didn't occur to me. It's a great idea.

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  4. Love it! Although not the thought of you being beaten to death by anything...
    I don't grow courgettes because Mike (says he) hates them. I'm sure you'll get loads of recipe ideas judging from the above.. if all else fails, the message re number of plants can't fail to hit the spot.

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    1. Bet he would like the courgette cake and the soup although how you would get him to try I don't know!

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  5. Elizabeth, once upon a time, I had a garden in Brooklyn, and also grew zucchini. So many zucchini! I was able to share the abundance with friends, but the memory of the produce produced has stayed with me!

    I do like the looks of all your recipes, and like the notion of adding coconut milk to a zucchini soup.

    Have you returned to your garden since this posting to check on how many new squash have appeared? xo

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    1. I haven't dared to go out and look again Frances. They are probably at this very moment lining up on the front path ready to come marching through the door!

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  6. No squash at all in the garden this year -- because we were away for 6 weeks in the spring, planting was very random. . . in the past, I've tried to grab squashflowers for stuffing and fritters, etc. but they do slip past into huge zucchini (what we call them here -- Italians brought them to Canada, I suppose, rather than the French) very quickly.

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    1. I think I shall have to get into using courgette flowers (love the word zucchini too). I have a couple of very promising sounding recipes but it is not something I have done before.

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  7. Thanks for that soup recipe! I have a friend whose husband grows too many zucchini every year and we are the lucky recipients. I like to grill it with chicken or port of beef - brush it with olive oil and skewer chunks.

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    1. Grilling is good. I also have a lovely recipe for a lemony courgette salad.

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  8. That is one bumper harvest!:-) Loved your recipes and I'm gonna try that soup for sure.
    Courgette flowers brought back so many childhood memories; it's a traditional delicacy where I grew up (the flowers are dipped in a rice-flour batter and then shallow fried to golden crispiness).
    Thanks for sharing this beautiful, summery post!

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    1. Mmm, the crispy flowers sound wonderful. I shall try that!

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  9. Marrow and ginger jam is a great favourite of mine. Otherwise I can eat buckets of courgettes sliced and fried. You can eat the flowers, too, deep fried, though then they won't make courgettes. Or you could get hold of some Neonicotinoids to spray on your plants, kill the bees and thus be able to enjoy the flowers without the troublesome courgettes. Alternatively, you could hire an Indian juggler and teach the family juggling, (always a useful skill if they find themselves bereft in Picadilly circus) using the courgettes as clubs - they are made for children and grandchildren. Dried and stained they make excellent counters for games, Connect 4 etc., but now my invention has run out: I have had no success in growing this family of plants (maybe they fear the neonicotinoids) which has always been disappointing - particularly in childhood. Now I am resigned to it being one more thing which I cannot do, like DIY.

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    1. Hiring an Indian juggler seems the best idea Fennie and I totally fail to understand how you can not be able to grow courgettes. You were too young. Try again!

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  10. Fab looking recipes, though I'm not sure about the glove of garlic ;)

    Our local supermarket has expanded and now stocks incredibly cheap coconut milk. I shall try your recipe forthwith. Courgette and brie soup is pretty yummy too. I love courgette fritters - reminds me of lovely holidays in Greece.

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    1. Whoops. A glove of garlic is a wonderful thing but does leave your hand very smelly!

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    2. I'm wearing both 'gloves' at the moment - just harvested and processed this year's bumper crop!

      Yours did give me a giggle ;)

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  11. Cooked down gently with a bit of butter and chopped spring onions and then
    just before serving with grated Parmesan, they make a super pasta sauce Elizabeth.

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    1. Love the pasta sauce idea. It is on the list!

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  12. Those recipes look wonderful. All my courgettes are looking like that big one - we've been away on holiday for a fortnight and everything's gone berserk. Will certainly try those dishes. They look delicious.

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    1. Going on holiday is a very large version of the dreaded turning your back! Hope you find lots of ideas here. I am doing and I thought I had done pretty good research!

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  13. hallo, ich schneide sie,wenn sie 8cm groß sind..sehr lecker und so gibt es nicht mehr zu viele zucchinies. Liebe Grüße wiebke

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    1. Danke. Ich werde versuchen, sie zu schneiden waehrend sie noch klein sind, aber ich vergesse immer !!

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  14. A valiant effort - perhaps you should put the remainder in a box by the gate for passers by.

    I'm the only willing eater of courgettes in this family - although the occasional chopped up courgette has crept undetected into the odd lasagne or bolognese sauce. My mum used to favour stuffed marrow, which we always ate with fresh runner beans - that will always be the taste of late summer for me.

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    1. I definitely would put them in a box by the gate but no one really passes by up here! I am quite into the idea of the lasagne - next attempt.

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  15. We are in Courgette City here too, and although I don't mind them, I like them best when they are served in thin strips barely blanched so I admire your efforts to slay the beasts with a variety of recipes. That quiche does look lovely though!

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    1. There is a fabulous courgette and lemon salad recipe which you would like. I think it is a Sarah Raven one.

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  16. It has been a fantastic year for them hasn't it - a late start has done no harm at all. Lots of inspiration above which I shall take note of. I like the sound of your soup. I wonder will it freeze for use in those dark winter days.

    Everything seems to have come late this year - late and in abundance. At present we are scoffing our way through broad beans - I've never had much success freezing them. Any recip suggestions gratefully received.

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    1. You can use broad beans to make a really good and slightly surprising hummus!

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  17. Hi Elizabeth, if you grate them you can freeze them in portions for zucchini bread.

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    1. Hadn't thought of freezing them grated. What a wonderful thing the internet is!

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  18. OMG..Now I know what a courgette is..."Squash"..Everybody here in Eastern USA grows way too many as well..You can't give them away here..

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  19. But if Ian had only planted 2, and one died you wouldn't have had enough. Good forward planning!

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    1. Now that is what he would say! Shall you post you a dozen?

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  20. Most envious Elizabeth. My courgettes are stuttering this year probably because we were away for almost three weeks in that July heat. No danger of a glut but think that I might have enough for that delicious looking soup.

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    1. Well it is good to be reminded that someone might be envious of our courgettes!

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  21. I'm glad we're not the only ones with this problem this year. I've frozen some in a sauce with tomatoes, stuffed some, stir-fried some and given some away. I like the look of that soup and may give that a go next.
    Teresa x

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    1. The soup is great and I am glad to know that I am not alone up here!

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  22. No courgettes here, I've no room to plant them ... but neighbours with similar gluts to you will keep us well supplied :)

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    1. Just pop over Annie when your immediate neighbours run out!

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  23. I have not planted Courgettes this year. Last year I had so many and they took so much space of the garden that I decided not to plant them again. But may be next year I change again. I came along your blog for the first time and it's lovely, I will be here again as your new follower.

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    1. Hi Janneke and good to meet you. I am glad you like the blog!

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  24. No courgettes for me in this little garden, but I remember the horror of a glut! Neighbours hiding when they saw you coming, laden with bags of 'em.... Nice as soup with peas and mint too, though!

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    1. Now that is a good idea because I also have bucketloads of peas!

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  25. I'm officially not speaking to you, by the way (shame I forgot when I saw you on Monday). I also forgot to cover the Spectacle of Shame that is my attempt at courgettes this year. Mildew. Again. Three plants, have had about eight courgettes.

    On the other hand, I am about to fill an entire freezer with french beans, so there are always compensations (PS: thanks for your courgette quiche recipe!)

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  26. My courgette plants got eaten by pigeons the minute I planted them. I didn’t have the heart to start again.

    Your courgette soup recipe is definitely one to try. I’ve been making ratatouille with (bought) courgettes and peppers for the freezer.
    I actually like courgettes when they’re not just boiled. Does anyone still do that?

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