I've returned home from my Majorca meanderings to a monster in the veggie patch: goodness knows how this fella (see photo) escaped my attention before we left. That's a normal-sized courgette on top by the way. The zucchini fairy must’ve been busy while I was away or maybe there’s something I didn’t know about under the patio. Whatever the cause, I must deal with the result. What to do with this bounty?
My signature courgette dish (ie the only one) is a gratin with lots of cream, egg and gruyère cheese. It’s quite rich and goes down well with barbecued meats or a roast in the winter. Then, for variety, there’s Auntie A’s famous courgette pasta: strips of our little green friends, sautéed in garlic and butter, and served on spaghetti with a sprinkling of paramesan. After that there’s, well, soup. And a not very interesting one either. So I decided this year to shake the tombola of the internet and see what recipes fell out.
A simple search revealed a plethora of culinary options. I can’t really go wrong after finding this article on Buzzfeed which offers 29 different variations on the theme, ranging from lasagna to waffles to fries. One absolute killer is this unusual Courgette & Pistachio Cake from the restaurant Honey & Co as featured in the Telegraph a couple of years ago. I’ve made it several times and it’s a winner. Full of sugar, mind, but it’s one way to get the kids eating veg.
There are plenty of cakes to be made out of the mammoth I’ve cultivated. I do wonder though if it’s worth all the effort. The plant was only a couple of quid from Homebase, although it was one of four, two of which died. It doesn’t seem like a massive outlay (although I’m not adding in the value of my labour). Consider though that courgettes are currently £1.50 a kg at Morrisons (that’s about three) so you’ve really got to be getting a significant crop to make the work worthwhile. Although if you do, it's another challenge.
Still I suppose it’s good for the kids to learn a bit about growing food, even if they can’t tear themselves away from their phones to do the odd bit of watering. Meantime, if you need me, I’ll just be making the soup …