Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Today's Harvest and 101 Ideas for Courgettes

I love this time of year, everything in the garden is growing so fast and most days we can harvest a huge basket of produce for our tea. At the moment we have courgettes (lots!), squash, french beans, lettuce, beetroot, artichoke, tomatoes, cucumbers and the first chillies.

I squeeze veggies in wherever I can, I think these minature ones (munchkin) look beautiful weaving their way through the fence along the back of one of the flower borders.

This is a munchkin, lovely baked and just enough for one person.

I prefer to grow unusual vegetables, different colours, different shapes and types that I can't buy in my greengrocers or supermarket. This year I have grown yellow courgettes (soleil) and also these which are my favourite courgette.

They are a climbing Italian variety called Tromboncino. They will grow up to 2 metres tall and I grow them over one of the archways in our vegetable patch. I just love their colour, and the way they curl around, and I think the texture of them is much nicer than a standard variety, and they crop really well! I'm not joking, tens maybe over a hundred from just a couple of plants! Also if you leave them to ripen on the plant, they will form a skin tough enough so that you can store for a couple of months after harvest.

This is todays harvest of squashes and courgettes, and these were just the bigger ones! There were stacks more that need picking, and I am going to pick some more and take them along to my WI meeting tonight to our "Recycle Table".

I am sure those of you that grow courgettes know just how quickly they grow and how soon you table can be groaning under the weight them all, especially given all this rain we are having! There's only so many you can give away to family and friends, but I just can't bring myself to throw the excess on to the compost, and I'm not a huge fan of courgette chutney :-(), so over the last few years I've collected what I think are some fab ways to use up courgettes which I'm going to share with you. This is the first one.

This is a really easy tasty courgette salad. I originally got it from Delia's vegetarian cookbook but upped the herbs slightly. The original recipe is here.

Courgette Recipe No 1 - Marinated Courgettes and Herb Vinaigrette

About half a kilo of courgettes
Maldon sea salt

For the herb vinaigrette
A handful of some or all if possible of the following herbs Chives, Parsley, Tarragon, Rosemary leaves all finely chopped.
1 clove of garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt (I use slightly less but its down to your taste)
1 heaped teaspoon of wholegrain mustard
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
4 tablespoons of olive oil
black pepper

1. Prepare the courgettes according to their size. If they are small halve them, if they are slightly larger cut into four, if they are larger then thinly slice. Steam them until lightly cooked.

2. Prepare the dressing by pounding garlic with the salt in a pestle or mortar until a paste. Work in mustard, vinegar, black pepper and then lastly the oil. Whisk together then add the herbs.

3. Add to the courgettes, allow to get cold and refridgerate to marinate. This will keep well in the fridge for up to three days.
This is so tasty, we eat it a lot with fish or chicken in the summer, do try it.

So that's one idea... I would love to hear yours too!

Before I go I had to post these rainy day play photos...
A fab tea party...

and a very competitive wacky race...

See you tomorrow..



  1. Hi Sarah!
    Your courgettes are amazing and they match perfectly with your spotty tablecloth!
    Thank you for sharing this yummy recipe, on my blog you could find a recipe for courgette flowers!
    I really enjoyed the race having a good cup of tea with some nice ladies! ;-)

  2. Sally, please accept all my apologizes for writing your name completely wrong. I'm really sorry, I'm back because I had a doubt (I was at office while I left my first comment). Sorry once again! :-)

  3. I always love to see pictures of your beautiful garden ~ it looks amazing and you seem to have lots of lovely things growing too :O)

  4. I am sooooooooo envious of your garden! Its really difficult for me to have a proper garden since we got the cottage in France. I usually spend a couple of months in the summer in France, so can't do much over here ( left to the men in my life, everything would die )and of course two months in France are not enough to make a proper veggie garden. When we move there on a more permanent basis, I shall come to you for veggie advice!

    Oh, and thats a very yummy looking recipe, I am going to give that a go. Thanks for passing it on.

  5. Your garden is oozing with an abundance of goodness!
    Chocolate and courgette cakes would be my suggestion. I posted the recipe over on ticking stripes blog the other day, but will send it to you if you like.
    Lisa x


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