Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Courgettes . . . . and more courgettes

One of the nice problems we face at this time of the year is what to do with all the courgettes. Our simplest recipe is just to cut them from the plant, slice them lengthways, brush them with olive oil and barbecue them in the garden to eat within a few metres and about 10 minutes of the plant.

Lo Jardinièr makes delicious fritters with the courgettes themselves and the flowers, and the other day he made a courgette soufflé following a recipe described to us by our neighbour over the garden fence.

We don't use very exact quantities in cooking - we use what we've got usually and often guess weights and amounts. These recipes serve 2 people as a main dish, or 4 as a tapas dish (approximately, although appetites vary).

Courgette fritters

Courgettes with their flowers still attached

for the batter:

1 cup of half milk, half water

salt and pepper

3 or 4 dessertspoonfuls flour

Mix the milk and water mixture with enough flour to make a thin batter.

Slice the courgette flowers in half lengthways, wash and dry.

Slice the courgettes thinly lengthways

Dip flowers and slices into batter and fry in a mixture of half olive oil and half sunflower oil until brown and crisp. Eat straight away.

Courgette soufflé

3 medium courgettes (about 300 gm)

1 small fresh goats' cheese (about 100 gm)

2 eggs

salt and pepper

grated cheese - gruyere or Cantal or other hard cheese

Cut courgettes in chunks and steam until tender. Blend in the food processor or put through a mouli légumes and allow to cool. Mix the blended courgette with the goats' cheese, seasoning and beaten eggs. Pour into a greased oven-proof dish, sprinkle with grated cheese and bake at 180 degrees C for about 25-30 minutes until the cheese has browned. Eat it hot or cold.

And a couple of recipes of mine:

Courgette omelette or tortilla

Grate 2 or 3 medium courgettes and sauté gently for 8 - 10 minutes in olive oil in an omelette or frying pan. Don't let them brown. You can add some chopped onion at this stage too. Beat 4 eggs with salt and pepper and add them to the pan. Cook the egg mixture. You can add grated cheese and finish it under the grill if you like.

Courgettes gratinées

Slice 3 or 4 courgettes fairly thinly and fry in olive oil. Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper. Layer them in a flan dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and grated Parmesan or other hard cheese and then with piment d'Espelette or paprika. Put under the grill until the cheese melts and browns. You can make a more substantial dish by putting this into a pastry flan case.

Sorry I haven't taken any pictures when we made these dishes - I'll have to take some next time!

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