I got two out of three right on the Memorial Day Challenge yesterday: wear white linen - yep; drink iced tea - nope (see mug above); and, most important of all, start closing your car windows when you park so people can't give you zucchinis - oh yes. I'm in a courgette glut of mammoth proportions but it's all my own work. Here's what grew in just two days on just two plants and made me slave over a hot stove for the holiday:
So, to help out everyone else sharing my plight, I thought I'd also share the recipes for the dishes I made - one for pasta sauce and one for a . . . salady, side-dish, appetiser thing. I prefer to face the facts and give the courgettes centre-stage rather than just sneak a bit of the glut into everything I eat. That way madness lies.
Now, the name of the pasta sauce recipe is not great - Courgette Mush - and it doesn't sound much better in American - Zuke Mush - but it tastes lovely, it's dead easy and it uses a ton of the little green horrors. Mind you, the resulting dish lasts a few days too, by which time . . .
All the courgettes (especially the wonky-shaped ones because it doesn't matter)
olive oil (as much as will make it as oily as you want it)
grated garlic (as much as will make it as garlicky as you want it)
black pepper (guess how much)
less salt than you'd think because it's going to cook down and instensify
Optional cream, crème fraiche, yoghurt, grated cheese.
Slice the courgettes thinly with a mandolin, the slicing side of a box grater, or an electronic gadget, I suppose. Warm the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add the sliced courgettes, grated garlic, salt and pepper and cook very slowly, uncovered, stirring hardly ever, for a couple of hours at least, until it looks like this:
It'll keep in the fridge for a week. When you want a bowl of pasta scoop some out, warm it up, add cream/crème fraiche/yoghurt, and mix with cooked pasta, top with cheese and enjoy.
The second recipe - Courgette Ladders - doesn't use up such a lot of the glut unless you deliberately make a lot, but I've taken a huge platter of this to more than one summer party and have never come back with any leftovers.
All the straight and medium-sized courgettes
salt and pepper
some snips of rosemary (speaking of gluts)
lemon juice and zest
Cut the courgettes into strips longways. You'll get maybe five strips from each one. In a big bowl, toss the strips in the oil, garlic, salt, pepper and rosemary until coated. Heat a ridged griddle until it's shimmering hot. In batches, grill the strips until the underside is stripy, pressing them down with a potato masher so you feel like Satan, then turn, grill and press again until they're soft right through. Resist the temptation to move them about: that spoils the pattern. Lift them out onto a plate, spritz with lemon juice and eat at any temperature from piping-hot to clap-cold. They're better without being refrigerated, though.
I hope this helps. Do you have any glut-busting recipes of your own? I'd love to hear them.