We have always loved courgettes and eat them in a host of different ways. Tom will even eat them raw, like an apple. So, this year, we have successfully grown them, and when Sannie (pronounced “sunny – because she is) Boervrou, a farmer friend of ours dropped off a box of them, I had such fun making all sorts of things courgette – including for breakfast. So, in addition to pasta carbonara, here are some other really cool ways to cook delicious courgettes – for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner!
Regular readers of this blog know that breakfast is not usually my domain – other than public holidays – and we’ve had a few of those in the last month. The most recent was voting day in South Africa. With no need to get up early, brunch was in order, and with fresh-from-the-vine courgette, and a beautiful autumn day, I thought that a frittata might be fun. A frittata is like a Spanish omelette, but is grilled and can be eaten hot or cold.
I roughly grated one courgette and beat together three eggs to which I added a little milk, salt and pepper as well as a good chunk of butter, chopped into small pieces. In a large pan, in hot olive oil and butter, lightly sauté the courgette and then pour in the egg mixture. Swirl a little in the pan and then cook over a gentle heat until it starts to bubble. While this is happening, warm the grill. When the mixture is quite firm around the edges but “wet-ish” in the middle, sprinkle fresh, chopped origanum and a little finely grated Parmesan or pecorino over the top. Place it under the grill until the egg is firm and the top is nicely browned. A frittata can be served immediately or left to cool. I served our courgette frittata warm, with tomatoes topped with a dollop of cottage cheese and grilled.
Courgette and Camembert soup makes a delicious light lunch, particularly in autumn. This soup is quite special to me – the original recipe comes from a school friend who now lives in Melbourne, and whom I’ve not seen since school days – some 30-odd years ago. We have reconnected through Facebook and now enjoy cricket “together”, continents apart. So, to make this, you sauté onion and courgette (coarsely chopped) with a potato in a pot and then add stock (ratio of courgette to stock is 1:1). Bring to the boil and simmer until all the vegetables are soft. Liquidise and then season, add Camembert to taste and liquidise again to make sure that the Camembert is well distributed in the soup.
You can make this in a vegan, Kosher or Halaal form by using vegetable stock and omitting the cheese. I have also substituted the potato with a little flour which is added to the vegetables to which you then add the warm or hot stock.
The last idea that I’m going to share with you is a delicious side dish. The idea came from a few recipes I’ve used and the inclusion of rosemary was the consequence of a suggestion from a friend in the village.
Select nicely shaped, firm courgettes and, depending on the size, half or more, per person. (It’s easier to work with larger ones, so I’d recommend large ones). Cut in half and scoop out the centre and set aside. Pop the shells into a moderate oven, drizzled with olive oil and bake for about 10 minutes – make sure they stay firm. Then, in a pan, sauté finely chopped onion, red pepper and a clove of garlic as well as the reserved flesh. Season to taste and add a little oreganum and/or parsley. Remove the shells from the oven and then stuff, placing a sprig of fresh rosemary between pairs of courgettes – the lovely flavour gently infuses into the marrows as they cook. Put this back in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes. Garnish with fresh rosemary and serve as a side dish.
Don’t use dried rosemary, or chop rosemary and add it to the mixture – it is too strong and will overpower everything else.
© Fiona’s Favourites 2015