Aaaaaaaargh! Too many courgettes!

Dear Deidre

I have too many courgettes!  I mean so many that even my neighbours pretend to be out when I stagger up to their drive under the weight of the copious courgettes.  What am I to do?  No one likes marrows (well sometimes but if I can't give away courgettes I won't be welcome with marrow!) I need a solution fast - Anon

If you have the same problems as our friend Anon then do not fear I have two excellent courgette recipes for you.  The first is for dainty little Courgette Appetizers and the second is for Stuffed Courgette Flowers. (I also have a marrow recipe but will save that for another day!)

Courgette Appetizers

These appetizers can either be used as a starter or as a canapé, you can make them into little mouthfuls or you can make them larger and use a knife and fork to eat them. They are healthy – gluten free – and it is another brilliant way to use up any excess courgettes. Here we have used mint but you could try other herbs if you so wish.

Preparation: 15 minutes Cooking time: 10 minutes Serves: 6 as a starter

courgette-flowersIngredients:

2 medium sized courgettes

6oz (175g) goats cheese

Handful of mint leaves

Olive oil

A sprinkle of salt

Directions:

  1. With a potato peeler or even a cheese slicer, peel thick ribbons of courgette, making a courgette rasher, like bacon.
  2. Chop the mint leaves into little bits.
  3. Slice the goats cheese into a size that will fit well when wound up by the courgette rasher.
  4. Get the cheese, a sprinkle of mint and wrap the courgette around it. You may want to hold it together with a cocktail stick.
  5. Put in a baking tray and drizzle or brush a little olive oil over it. Sprinkle a little salt on top too.
  6. Put in a medium oven for 10 minutes until slightly browned and the cheese has melted.

Stuffed Courgette/Squash Flowers (Deep Fried)

You can only really make these canapé’s/starters when the courgettes and squashes are in flower. You will also find it almost impossible to buy the flowers anywhere, so they really do have to come from your own garden. It is just a question of how many you can get in one go to make them worth cooking.

Preparation: 20 minutes Cooking time: 10 – 15 minutes Serves: 6

Ingredients:

12 courgette/squash flowers

1 medium courgette

1 tbsp olive oil

Small handful of basil or thyme

4oz (100g) feta, goats or mozzarella cheese

Salt and pepper

About 2pts (1ltr) of sunflower oil for frying in

1 lemon

3oz (75g) plain flour

Pinch of salt

1 egg yolk

6floz (175ml) ice-cold fizzy water or beer!

Directions:

  1. Make the batter first by sifting the flour and salt into a bowl, make a well in the flour, then add the egg yolk and the fizzy water/beer.
  2. Whisk it all up until it is smooth and place in the fridge until needed.
  3. Put the sunflower oil into a deep pan for frying, it must be about 8cm (4”) deep, and heat.
  4. Check the courgettes flowers for unwanted insects and remove the pistils, as they are very bitter.
  5. Make the filling for the flowers:• Pour a tbsp of olive oil into a frying pan. Add grated courgettes and fry them until soft.• Chop the cheese into little bits and put into a bowl.• Finely chop the basil or thyme whichever herb you choose and add this to the cheese.• Add the fried courgette and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Mix it up.• Spoon this into the courgette flowers. Coat the flowers with batter.
  6. Immediately place the gooey ‘things’ into the very hot pan of oil for approximately 1 – 2 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Take them out of the oil with a slotted spoon and let them sit on some kitchen paper to cool and drain off the fat for about 3 – 5 minutes.
  8. Cut the lemon into wedges to serve alongside the still hot stuffed flowers.

For a printable pdf for both of these recipes please click Courgette Recipes

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