The courgette: bumper recipes and cake
Courgettes are one of those pushy plants that once arrived in your garden or allotment just keep… well… growing: they are a bumper breed.
The more you pick these ‘immature fruits’ the faster they seem to reappear- from July until mid October. Summer squash can reach a good metre but should be harvested for the best taste at half this size. At the height of summer this can mean picking every day!
Courgettes also want you to know that they are not marrows.
Marrows will become big and hefty, and need more help with flavour, usually by being stuffed. They can be stored in a cool dry room for a few weeks. Courgettes should be used after a couple of days. (And taking them out of a fridge to room temperature causes small, dark pits to form if you don’t get cooking within an hour or two. )
They should not be bought in enormous quantities unless you plan to have a courgette bonanza with all the recipe suggestions that are included in this blog. Don’t choose imported ones because of local gluts -as described above, and because airplane-fresh is particularly unappealing with these smooth, firm, green, gleaming …
So are they good in cakes? Courgettes add a very pleasant fluffy texture and moisture to a cupcake. The delicate flavour complements lemon, vanilla, pistachio, cinammon, camomile, rosewater, coconut, banana or mint. They are low in calories (15 per 100g uncooked) and contain foliate, potassium and vitamin A. So that’s a yes!
The trick is to finely grate and lightly drain of excess moisture immediately before adding to the mix.
Flowers can be stuffed with spinach and ricotta, and deep fried.
The usual way to cook this mediterranean food as a side dish is to stew it gently until the liguid has evaporated, and it is soft, pulpy and aromatic: 1k courgettes, 3 tbs oil, salt, thyme & 3 cloves of garlic.
Add milk and black pepper to this purée to make a soup or add the cooked mixture after draining for 30 minutes to an omelette (with added pinenuts), soufflé, quiche or risotto (with added peas or broad beans) .
Coming next week : 3 delicious salads with courgettes. And more about cakes!
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