Courgette and squash plants are growing into a lush green jungle in Riverford’s polytunnels, and they are one veg that most gardeners will have success with (slugs and weather permitting).
Some years the growing conditions are just perfect, and anyone who has planted out even in the tiniest veg patch will suddenly find their fridge, worktop and garden may be inundated with courgettes.
So how to deal with a courgette glut? Especially when your family may not react with joy at another courgette-based meal on the menu.
A great family friendly, one pot meal is a light but comforting tomato and courgette pasta bowl. This fresh tasting dish is also great to use up any of the last ripe tomatoes if you grow those too.
The great thing about courgettes apart from their abundance is their versatility. They are great fried, roasted, grilled, baked or braised.
You could also keep things simple and serve raw. Courgettes are lovely in salads – thinly sliced ribbons will hold a lemony dressing, and spiralised ‘courgetti’ (either raw or briefly stir fried) is a great veg alternative to pasta.
They pair beautifully with Mediterranean flavours, as in this simple fried courgette and mint salad. You can mix with cooked lentils, quinoa or beans to make a simple main or lunchbox meal. Crumble over a salty sheep’s cheese to serve or add a little chopped fresh chilli or dried chilli flakes.
Cook them slow and low and watch as courgettes turn into a rich, creamy sauce on pasta. A firm favourite among anyone who tries it.
Adding spices brings extra zing – these Indian spiced courgette and chickpea fritters are made with chickpea flour which gives them a nice nuttiness and lots of protein.
Served with a cooling tomato, cucumber and mint salsa this makes a lovely vegetarian lunch or dinner (or make it vegan by replacing the cow’s yoghurt with coconut yoghurt).
If you want to save some of summer’s harvest for later in the year, pickling or preserving in olive oil are great ways of dealing with a glut.
Lastly, hiding them in cake is a great option. Courgette, lemon and poppy seed cake is a real favourite – light, zingy and wonderfully moist. A sure-fire winner for even the most jaded courgette eater, it is gluten free too and perfect for sharing.