The courgettes are back!

Posted on: 6th August, 2014

Category: A Flavour of West Cork

Contributor: Karen Austin

Lettercollum Kitchen Project, 22 Connolly Street, Clonakilty. www.lettercollumkitchenproject.com www.lettercollum.ie Karen@lettercollum.ie

The courgettes are very healthy after such a sunny early summer, and the rain in the past couple of weeks has helped them along even more. Each day we wander through the courgette patch and pick the ones that have grown inches over night. We try to pick courgettes when they are small as they are tastier but somehow there always seems to be the odd escapee that camouflages itself under the big leaves. We’re not quite wheel barrowing them away yet but I have been checking out some new recipes to deal with the anticipated glut.

This month’s recipes are especially for anyone that is growing courgettes and wondering how to eat them all – it’ll save sneaking round to friends houses and leaving them on the doorstep!

 

Courgette Fritters
These fritters are are tasty and light, perfect for lunch or dinner, they’re even good cold for a picnic.

Ingredients:

3 courgettes

1 large potato

2 eggs

1 small onion, finely grated

Grated zest of one lemon

Salt

A big handful chopped mint

Oil for frying

Method:

Peel the potato. Grate the courgettes and potato on the coarse side of the grater and sprinkle over a little salt. Put them into a colander and sit it over a bowl. Leave for 30 minutes. You will be surprised at how much liquid will come out and what initially looked like an enormous amount will shrink dramatically. Next take a clean t-towel and put the courgette and potato into the centre, gather the four corners up and twist to extract the rest of the liquid. Put the squeezed courgettes and potato into a bowl and mix together with the lemon zest, onion and eggs. Season with some black pepper and a little salt.

Heat a large frying pan, adding enough oil to barely cover the bottom of the pan. Put tablespoons of the courgette mix around the pan leaving about 5 cms between each fritter. Flatten slightly with the back of the spoon Turn the heat down to medium and cook gently until a golden crust has formed. Carefully flip the fritters over and cook the other side.

Delicious served with tzatziki, tomato cucumber salad or mayonnaise on the side.

 

Karen3Courgette and Rocket Soup
Courgette soup has a reputation for tasting and looking a little bland but the addition of a handful of rocket picks it up and adds a dash of bright green.

Ingredients:

1 medium onion

25g butter or olive oil

1 potato

3 courgettes

500mls vegetable stock

1 tsp white wine vinegar

100g rocket-

Method:

Peel and chop the onion. Heat a saucepan, add the butter or olive oil and the onions and sweat gently for a few minutes. Peel and chop the potato and cut into a very small dice. Add to the onions, season with a little salt and give everything a good stir. Cook gently for at least five minutes. Don’t let them brown. Chop the courgettes into small pieces and add to the pot along with a little ground black pepper. Cook for a few minutes more then pour over the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, turn down and simmer for five minutes. Check the potato is soft then take of the heat and buzz until smooth. Roughly chop the rocket and buzz again. Don’t cook the rocket otherwise it will loose the vibrant green colour. Serve immediately or if needs be re-heat gently without boiling.

 

karen2Courgette, Poppy Seed and Lemon Cake
This cake is deliciously moist with no distinguishing vegetable flavor, the only evidence of courgettes are little green flecks throughout the sponge.

Ingredients:

150g caster sugar

125g butter

1 egg

200g grated courgette

200g plain white flour

1 heaped tbs poppy seeds

half tsp bread soda

half tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

finely grated zest 2 lemons

half tsp salt

Method:

Pre heat the oven 180c gas 4. Line a 1lb loaf tin with parchment paper.

Cream together the butter and sugar then mix in the egg and grated courgettes. Sift the flour, baking powder, bread soda and cinnamon then stir into the mix along with the poppy seeds and lemon zest.

Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and bake for 45 minutes until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the tin for ten minutes before turning out.

 

We ‘re busy with the shop and garden right now so the cooking classes are on hold for the summer. The autumn cooking classes at Lettercollum will be beginning with a Gluten and dairy free class on September 20 and a Thai cooking class on Saturday, September 27.

Meanwhile if you’re in town, drop in and see us and pick up a picnic. We’re open Tuesday-Saturday from 10am until 6pm.

Sunny Greetings from all of us at the Kitchen Project.

 

 

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