Friday, 8 August 2008

Summer suppers

We're still trying to find as many ways as we can of using the courgettes. The plants are carrying on producing much later than they did last year when they seemed to get too hot at the end of July and died however much water we gave them. A small courgette one day, if left on the plant, will turn into a huge one a day or two later, but even when they're quite big they are still very sweet and tasty.

Courgette soup

I've made courgette soup: roughly chop two or three large courgettes, add a finely chopped sweet onion, water to cover, salt and pepper, any herbs you have, and simmer in a large pan for about 10 minutes. Blend, then serve hot or cold with a swirl of yoghurt or crème fraiche. We ate this in the garden one evening with friends and added an ice cube to each bowl of soup to chill it.

The tomatoes are ripening faster than we can use them now. We bottled 16 kilos of them, reduced down to passata, the other day and we'll have to do the same again very soon. I picked out some of the best-looking ones to stuff:

Stuffed tomatoes

4 large ripe tomatoes
400 gm minced pork / sausage meat (this must be 100 % meat)
2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs
1 large or 2 small onions and 3 large cloves of garlic chopped very finely
in a food processor
herbs - I used thyme and rosemary
salt and pepper

Mix the stuffing ingredients. Cut the tops of the tomatoes and remove the pulp and seeds. Fill the tomatoes with the stuffing - use too much rather than too little as it shrinks when cooked. Put the tops back on the stuffing. Put the tomatoes into an oven-proof dish with some olive oil and bake in the oven at 180 degrees C for about 50 minutes. They are best if you eat them cold the next day when the flavours have had time to develop, as we did in the garden this evening.

The sky as we left the garden tonight


Titania said...

There is nothing to compare to homegrown vegetables and how an enthusiastic, good cook can use them.) The evening sky left with shadows is very beautiful.

MaryAthenes said...

J'ai un faible pour les tomates farcies a la viande... Ici je ne mets que du riz...

Kate said...

I have a wonderful recipe for zuccini and mushroom lasagne. If you like, I will send it to you. Today I have been putting lots of my favourite recipes into my laptop to bring on my trip and share with others and I am looking forward to gardening and cooking with you!

Maggie said...

Please visit the gardeners gastronomy link on our blog. If you look under Vegetarian Mains most of those recipes could have zucchini added to them or zucchini used instead of carrot or spinach.
I usually grate zucchini, add a pinch of salt then stand it for 15 minutes, squeeze out some of the liquid.
We also have some yummy Cake recipes in that section and you could add zucchini to some of them.

chaiselongue said...

Thanks to all for your comments, and especially Kate and Maggie. I'll look at your garden gastronomy recipes for ideas and yes, please, Kate, I'd like the lasagne recipe! I'm very much looking forward to sharing ideas, cooking and gardening with you!