So, with a surfeit of courgette and having a little less work pressure, the creative juices were flowing, helped quite a bit with five consecutive days’ relative freedom from my day job, I was at libery to cogitate life and potter in the kitchen. Regular readers will know that I will experiment without a proper plan, let alone a recipe or “destructions”. So it was when I decided I would try to make, firstly, a tarte tatin and then a timbale, both of which, with no apology, had courgette as a key ingredient.
Courgette and Onion Marmalade Tarte Tatin
What I did (while I was making courgette soup and chicken liver paté for the market) was to take a quantity of courgette, sautééd in olive oil with some chopped fresh thyme and fennel. I lined my small quiche dishes with foil to ensure that nothing dribbled out of the bottom and started my layering of ingredients with quartered cocktail tomatoes.
Once I had done that, I arranged the courgette slices around the tomato petals and then dotted with little slivers of camembert around the centre. This was all topped with some onion marmalade before I put the pastry lid on top.
These were baked in the oven at 200ºC for about 25 minutes. The results were very pleasing and the flavour profile was divine!
Courgette Breakfast Timbale
Slap bang in the middle of June we have a public holiday. All well and good, except that this year the day dawned, grey, cold and wet. Lights on at nine in the morning – in Africa? Yes. I put myself on breakfast duty and decreed that the day needed to become brighter and more bubbly – one way or another.
Courgettes needed eating and I had a bee in my bonnet. I started making ribbons and began lining greased ramekin dishes. The Husband, hovering in the hope of breakfast, asked, “Do you have a plan in mind?”
“Err, yes, sort of…”
Having turned on the oven to heat (moderate) and lined the ramekins with the courgette, and putting half a cocktail tomato in the middle, I beat together 4 eggs (I had prepared 4 ramekins), about a dessert spoon of cottage cheese and a teaspoon of basil pesto. This mixture was shared between the ramekins and the courgette strips folded over the top before they were put into the oven for about 15 minutes and the egg mixture had firmed up (you can tell because it begins to rise out of the receptacles).
Remove from the oven and then turn them out onto a plate and serve.
The grey day was not going to make me miserable, so the table I decided to set was over the top, bright and cheerful, and our courgette timbales were accompanied by a very nice chardonnay MCC from Darling Cellars, and which had been a birthday gift.
So even though the day remained largely grey, it had a bubbly, colourful start!
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