It seems to be a good year for courgettes or zucchini or whatever you call them in your part of the world. Last year germination was poor, so this spring extra seeds were sown and of the six, five germinated – three golden Alena Polka plants and two All Green Bush. This didn’t seem a problem when the seedlings were lovingly planted out, but as summer has progressed, so have the courgettes and each plant is sprouting courgettes like an old man sprouts ear hair.
So, what to do with this glut of courgettes. I fully intended to cut off each courgette when it was tiny; after all a deluge of finger sized courgettes wouldn’t be too hard to deal with. Alas, I turned my back for a couple of days and the courgettes went mad. We are overrun and I try to sneak courgettes into as many meals as I can.
Should you find yourself overrun with a glut of courgettes, zucchini or marrow of various sizes and shapes, may I suggest:
Oven Roasted Ratatouille. All the ingredients of ratatouille ie aubergines, red or yellow peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic and of course courgettes roasted with a good glug of rapeseed oil and a scattering of basil. Obviously nothing like a proper ratatouille so probably I should find a different way to describe it. It goes without saying that courgettes find their way into every roasted vegetable dish at this time of year.
Courgette ribbons. I use the potato peeler to make ribbons of courgette (there must be an easier way and I don’t make it if there’s more than two people eating). Eat the ribbons raw with a simple dressing or melt a little butter in a saucepan, add the ribbons of courgette along with carrot ribbons and toss them around in the butter, pop the lid back on and cook for two or three minutes until they’re just tender.
Courgettes with lemon. Either roast batons of courgettes in a little butter for twenty or thirty minutes until they’re brown and soft or fry grated courgettes in a little oil and butter for two minutes. Add a good squeeze of lemon juice, maybe a little lemon zest and season with salt and pepper.
Striped courgettes. Cut courgettes lengthways into thin strips, smear them with the merest trace of oil and cook in a ridged pan. A good minute either side cooks them through and stripes them.
Courgette Fritters. I tend to throw in a random selection of ingredients. You may be better to follow Celia’s instructions for Tromboncino Fritters here.
The courgette that got away aka stuffed marrow rings – a taste of the past. The recipe seems to have missed out the instruction to scoop out the seeds from the marrow, but you’d have realised that wouldn’t you?
Courgette Cakes – I made muffin sized versions of the courgette cake in Nigella Lawson’s How to be a Domestic Goddess that were surprisingly good, even though I omitted the lime curd and topped the cakes with a simple icing of sugar and lemon juice instead of cream cheese. Next on the list is Jane’s delicious looking Zucchini Chocolate Cake at The Shady Baker
Pickled Courgettes – from Pamela Westland’s Food for Keeps. It’s still in the jar and untried but it looks pretty and I haven’t yet had a failure with any of her recipes.
Freezing for a supply through the winter as suggested by Mrs Mud(the Land Owners Wife). Her instructions are to: Chop into 1 inch cubes (well as near cubelike as a cylindrical shape can be); melt enough butter in a frying pan to liberally coat the number of cubes you are frying;fry for about 1 minute tossing the courgette pieces to ensure they are thoroughly coated;then tip onto baking tray and allow to cool down completely; and then put into freezer bags and place in freezer. The butter helps prevent the cubes from sticking together like glue and also makes them easier to separate when you want to grab a handful to chuck into a winter warmer.
Lemon and Marrow Marmalade. Use courgettes or marrow, whichever you have to hand. Just tell everyone that it’s Lemon Marmalade. The recipe for Lemon and Marrow Marmalade is here. Delicious on toast or with goats cheese.
Cheese & Courgette Scones – why not? A good way to use up a courgette or two. Scroll back to the previous post for the recipe.
Do you have a glut of courgettes? Any plans for them? Do share. Please.