Courgettes are like buses – wait ages and then they all come at once.
It seems counter intuitive but it’s best to pick them small and young when they are most tender and tasty.
That is unless you really want to grow marrows.
Last year I let a couple grow big and they stored remarkably well for two or three months before I used them baked and or stuffed.
I had to peel some of the skin as it had cured and become quite tough.
Courgette or marrow curry is good as it absorbs the flavour of the spices – this is a recipe I can vouch for. It also freezes well.
They are very good young and sliced very thinly, salted to draw out the moisture and then dried and tossed in flour before frying in olive oil until crisp and golden.
Scoop them out and lay them on kitchen towel to absorb the excess oil before serving.
If this makes your heart flutter (literally) you can slice them along their length and brush with olive oil before chargrilling them on a cast iron ridged pan.
I have just made this recipe from this wonderful Greek vegetarian cookbook.
It calls for 1 large onion finely chopped and gently fried in 3/4 cup of olive oil (I couldn’t bring myself to use this much and made do with about 3 tablespoons)
Add 5 cloves of crushed garlic, 3/4 tin of chopped tomatoes, 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley and seasoned with salt and pepper.
You add a cup of water and then simmer until the sauce has slightly thickened and then add the medium sized courgettes (1.5kg) each cut into 3 or four large pieces and simmer until the water has evaporated.
It freezes well.
It would make a good pasta sauce too.
I served it with rice and warm cannellini beans with garlic and a few crisped sage leaves in olive oil stirred through.
And I absolutely love courgette cooked until soft with garlic, roughly ground and roasted coriander seeds, a little water or stock and finished off with a squeeze of lemon.
A warm courgette salad is one of my enduring memories of eating with my French exchange family when I was 14.
They steamed small ones whole and then let them cool slightly before halving them and dressing them with a thick salty mustard vinaigrette.
Raw courgette thinly sliced along it’s length is good with lemon, garlic and olive oil.
And of course grated courgettes make their way into breads, muffins, scones and cakes and with the arrival of the Spiraliser they even replace pasta!
I tried to develop a courgette, walnut and herb muffin – but the first try was a bit of a disaster.
The courgette, herb and walnut muffins stuck to the paper cases and were a bit soggy inside
I think I might change the recipe to more of a scone.
I’ll keep you posted on how that progresses.