The Saturday Session – 101 ways with a courgette

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Courgettes

 

Well, not quite, but tonight’s dinner challenge is a different use of courgettes with every course because, like many of you who might grow your own, there’s a courgette glut still on.

I have to admit to not being the biggest fan of the courgette, but I’m coming around. I think it’s too many years of it being served up wet and soggy, either on is own or in some awful bastardisation of ratatouille. More rat than touille I always thought. But I think tonight’s three ways might be about as far away from that as you can get.

Firstly, we’ll be starting with Courgette Hummus, from the Gastrokid cookbook and as featured in last Sunday’s Observer. Sadly, it’ll probably only use up a max of 2 courgettes as there are only 7 of us. Doesn’t sound like you can go too far wrong with this combination of flavours though, what with all the parsley, basil, lemon juice and olive oil. It may just prove to be a way to get more veg into kids, rather than contributing anything distinctive on the flavour front, but it does look a very pretty shade of green. I shall reserve judgement.

Main course is somewhat easier, as there’ll be grilled courgette. This is the way to serve courgettes to non believers, as it is with many veg. Roasting or grilling really brings out a different side to the flavours, slightly sweeter plus that slight smokiness. Of course, chucking good olive oil and rock salt on helps a lot as well!

And for dessert, I’m going the obvious route, which is Flora’s Famous Courgette Cake out of How to be a Domestic Goddess. Although being slightly undomestic goddess like, I will not be whipping up a lime curd this afternoon, although it is worth doing when time allows. If you’re not convinced by the sound of the cake, check out Mouthfuls of Heaven’s report from when she gave it a go.

Whatever is left from the glut I’m thinking of grating and freezing for going into cakes and soups over the winter. Unless anyone has any other interesting recipes for me to give a go? Go on, let me in on your courgette secrets! From A Forkful of Spaghetti comes the delightful sounding courgette pickle, so that’s a good start!

Photo by Indigo Goat.

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A taste of summer

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Lime Squeezer - all juice, no mess

 

It seems like it’s been a true summer’s day all over the UK today, although tempered, of course, with heavy downpours in places. So I’ve been thinking about warm summery flavours, of which one of my favourite is lime.

It’s tropical but sharp, and goes with all sorts of great things, from fruit to griddled halloumi (one of my favourites). But it can be a so and so to get the juice out of, and doesn’t really love having to use the same juicer as the lemon gets! So if your foodie is a gadget gatherer, then one of their gifts has to be this lime squeezer.

With that vivid green colour, there’s no mistaking what this one is for! It easily squeezes out all the juice and doesn’t drop in any of the seeds, pulp or peel. And at under £10, it’s also a perfect credit crunch gift, with the only thing getting squeezed being the lime, not your bank balance.

What are you going to do with all that lovely juice? Well browsing around I came across this great recipe on The Cottage Smallholder for Coriander and Lime Juice Pesto, which sounds amazing. This would make a really great light summery supper stirred through pasta, with a crunchy green salad on the side, and possible a glass of something white and chilled.

 

Bill Granger Everyday

 

It credits Bill Granger with being the inspiration, who is one of my favourite cooks. I’ve never eaten at any of his places, or even stepped onto Australian soil, but a great many of his books line the bookshelves here. It all looks invitingly fresh and healthy, but not dull. The sort of flavours you want to eat when it’s hot, but not when it’s February.

I am working my way through Bill’s Food and Every Day, as well as Holiday. Now the warm weather is, hopefully, here for a bit, they are just perfect. If your foodie needs some new recipe inspiration, then try these. Just don’t look at them on a wet day, you will feel jealous!

Or else, just book yourselves on that trip to Australia and visit his resturants. That’ll be like all their foodie gifts come true at once!

 

Update

Since I wrote this, I’ve had the joy of a trip to Australia, some amazing eating and a trip to Bill’s very first restaurant. It wasn’t a let down.

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