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  • Things to do with spare courgettes

    I suspect this will prove a popular post! I will list some suggestions but invite everyone to add (polite!) recommendations.

    This year I persuaded a friend to grow a courgette plant in her garden and now it’s started producing she’s come back with the question “What do I do with them all?” Ahh! Thus this post!

    One of the wittiest suggestions I’ve seen is to leave them on a neighbour’s doorstep under cover of darkness (but be aware if neighbour is a vegetable grower they may well be trying the same trick!) With each plant producing 2 or 3 usable courgettes a week and a relatively short season of maximum production (which tends to coincide with everyone else’s maximum production) the sudden glut can be extreme and they’re not easily preserved for out of season use (though it is possible as listed below). As one wag commented “You may be lucky and get a dozen off each plant or be unlucky and get a lot more....."

    So! Things to do with spare courgettes….. here goes!
    1. Most obviously they can be used in stir fries or speared onto kebab skewers with other veg and meat, a basic for BBQs.
    2. The Internet will provide any number of their use in stews, soups, grated and made into fritters or simply tossed in seasoned flour and fried.
    3. The flowers are often utilised separately to be fried, stuffed with various sweetmeats or simply as dramatic decoration.
    4. Special mention should probably be made for their place in ratatouille which is such a winner mid/late summer along with all the other seasonal produce.
    5. Similarly the Internet will provide creative bakers with recipes of courgette bread, cakes, cookies and even brownies (one witty tale I saw was of a Mum whose children, as they grew older, became increasingly suspicious of just about every meal they were being served….).
    6. I haven’t seen them used in desserts/puddings/ice-cream yet but that may be an area to explore.
    7. I notice new allotment holders are increasingly young women whose main focus is less carrots and cabbages in military rows and more putting greater emphasis on a comfortable shed (with teapots and curtains no less) and using vegetables and flowers in creative salads, drinks and cosmetic products including soaps, shampoos, skin lotions etc. Maybe courgettes have a place in these experiments?
    8. A more specialist use may be in exhibiting courgettes in local or regional shows (sadly mostly cancelled this year because of coronavirus) where rules can be quite tight about size, colour, flowers etc - so a lot of courgettes are needed to find 3 or 4 perfect and identical specimens.
    9. In most cases you can always leave a courgette or two to grow into larger marrows when they take on their own set of recipes for Stuffed Marrow or, for the alcoholics amongst us, with the addition of demerara sugars the creation of marrow rum….
    10. For those with energy, flair and patience they can be made into or included in chutneys, canned if you have the skill and equipment, or dried for longer-term usage. Their Achilles heel is their high water content which means they don’t suffer simple freezing that conveniently, at least they don’t quite emerge as courgettes but as a somewhat soggy addition for other recipes. Several recipes process them in some ways first (e.g. roasting or part-drying) and then freeze them in zip-lock or vacuum bags.

    As a harvested vegetable their shelf-life in the short-term is quite impressive – best used fresh but in ideal cool circumstances they will last several days (the flowers wilt quickly). But in mid/late Summer courgette plants are pure magic with their daily production rate, huge (weed smothering!) leaves and a design architecture more flamboyant and dramatic than many regular veg. They tend to reach a sad end in Autumn with dire leaf problems but meantime let’s hear it for Courgettes, the Versatile Veg!

    Any more suggestions before I pay my neighbour a secret midnight visit?
    .

  • #2
    They make a great thickening base for soup and go with almost anything as they don't have an overpowering flavour. Cook with or without onion until soft, blend to a puree and freeze, then use when you have a glut of tomatoes, peppers, spinach, carrots, or any other veg with good flavour.

    My sister in law spiralizes them and uses instead of pasta.
    Last edited by Penellype; 01-08-2020, 11:27 AM.
    A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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    • #3
      I make this courgette soup:
      https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/...o-cheddar-soup

      It's very good, and it's good for using up courgettes which have started turning to marrows, too.

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      • #4
        I love ratatouille of any kind. Last year I found Delia's recipe for oven roast ratatouille. It is my favourite and also freezes really well. In the miserable depths of Winter it is like a taste of sunshine. I froze lots last year but it had all gone by Christmas. This year I am growing more aubergines just to make more of it.
        I also fancy having a go at courgette curry:

        https://www.teaforturmeric.com/pakis...orai-ki-sabzi/
        Last edited by greenishfing; 01-08-2020, 02:22 PM.

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        • #5
          Our 2 mainstays are Courgette and Brie soup (Covent Garden soup company recipe), we usually end up freezing it and having it all year round though and courgette and feta fritters (not easy to say after a glass or 2 of a crisp white that goes with them!).

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Chippy Minton View Post
            Our 2 mainstays are Courgette and Brie soup (Covent Garden soup company recipe), we usually end up freezing it and having it all year round though and courgette and feta fritters (not easy to say after a glass or 2 of a crisp white that goes with them!).
            My husband loves courgette fritters. How do you make courgette and feta fritters? I have a sneaky idea that they would also go with my favourite red plonk.

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            • #7
              My fave recipe is Braim, its basically slices of Tom, courgettes, onions and potatoes placed in a tray sprinkle parsley on top then drizzled with olive oil and bake for a hour-ish.

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              • #8
                Courgettes on toast. Fry courgettes in olive oil, add loads of minced garlic and parsley, pile on a doorstep of toast, salt and pepper or chilli sauce if desired. If me amd Mrs G have this for a lunch, we have 2 rounds each and you use up at least 1 courgette per round. Sometimes I grate cheese over them and whack under the grill.
                Last edited by Vince G; 02-08-2020, 12:13 AM.
                Are y'oroight booy?

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                • #9
                  I found an interesting lemon and courgette sorbet recipe!
                  Not tried it but might give it a go. Think I'd prefer to make it with my yellow courgette tbh.

                  http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/9874/...on-sorbet.aspx
                  "Nicos, Queen of Gooooogle" and... GYO's own Miss Marple

                  Location....Normandy France

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                  • #10
                    We quite like courgette and aubergine parmigiana, made in exactly the same way as an aubergine only one but substitute half the aubergine for courgette.

                    Something I've always fancied trying is where you let them go to a marrow size, cut the end off and stuff it with brown sugar and hang it outside to ferment. apparently the result is something not dissimilar to rum. Something i won't be able to try this year as unfortunately my courgette plant only produced 2 tiny courgettes before it shrivelled up and died.
                    "Bulb: potential flower buried in Autumn, never to be seen again."
                    - Henry Beard

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bren In Pots View Post
                      My fave recipe is Braim, its basically slices of Tom, courgettes, onions and potatoes placed in a tray sprinkle parsley on top then drizzled with olive oil and bake for a hour-ish.
                      I had never heard of that, sounds tasty! Found a recipe for Briam and think I will try that tonight
                      Location: London

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                      • #12
                        I have been wondering what to do with gherkins after running out of jars.
                        One plant hid a fruit behind a tomato plant and it reached about half the size of a shop bought marrow before I found out.

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                        • #13
                          Breaded courgette goujons are always a welcome change. Quarter the courgies lengthways and cut in half. Coat the pieces in flour, then beaten egg, then savoury breadcrumbs. (Breadcrumbs are seasoned with hot smoked paprika, salt, pepper, grated cheese and oregano).
                          Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes until crispy and golden.

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                          • #14
                            Courgettes are horrible things. They don't taste good and there's one ready every 5 minutes.

                            Viki made courgette and mushroom bread once which was nice enough.

                            The only way I've found to use them is to slice them quite thickly (5mm ish), dehydrate them then deep fry to make crisps. Sprinkle with rock salt and coarse-ground black pepper and they are very tasty indeed.
                            Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
                            By singing-'Oh how beautiful!" and sitting in the shade,
                            While better men than we go out and start their working lives
                            At grubbing weeds from gravel paths with broken dinner-knives. ~ Rudyard Kipling

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mr Bones View Post
                              Breaded courgette goujons are always a welcome change. Quarter the courgies lengthways and cut in half. Coat the pieces in flour, then beaten egg, then savoury breadcrumbs. (Breadcrumbs are seasoned with hot smoked paprika, salt, pepper, grated cheese and oregano).
                              Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes until crispy and golden.
                              We have just started making these for our 12 month old son. When he's in a food mood, he loves them and when he's not in a food mood... the dog finds them rather delicious too! We just give the seasoning a little adjustment for him.
                              Last edited by Peteyd; 03-08-2020, 05:36 PM.
                              "Bulb: potential flower buried in Autumn, never to be seen again."
                              - Henry Beard

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