Since becoming the proud possessors of our very own allotment three years ago, each summer we've been literally drowning in courgettes. Even with our (very basic) gardening skills, our hit and miss methods of cultivation and any prevailing weather conditions, courgettes survive and thrive with abandon.
They thrive so well that a sensibly sized courgette can burgeon into a small Zeppelin within a week and then we're treading dangerously close to marrow territory. And nobody wants that to happen.
Finding stuff to do with courgettes isn't difficult. They are one of the most versatile of vegetables and even The Boy, who doesn't eat any vegetables at all if he can help it, eats it. To be honest, he doesn't know he's eating it (diced in his scrambled egg and obscured with cheese) and one day I'll tell him. One day. When he's over all this silly not eating vegetable phase obviously. When he's 33 or so...
Anyway my favourite courgette recipe comes from an outing to the allotment barbecue (we're a sociable bunch down on the allotments) when a fellow allotmentee turned up with a very tasty Courgette Gratin. She was subsequently pinned against a shed and the recipe
beaten wrestled from her by the rest of the courgette-rich allotmenteers.
There is one very important thing to remember about this recipe, which over time has had it's name changed to suit it's appearance and has been slightly adapted to suit family taste, and that's courgettes can be quite soggy which will make the eventual dish a bit sloppy. So slice your courgettes an hour or so before using, sprinkle with a little salt (to draw out the water) and leave to stand. When it comes time to compiling your dish, put the slices between a few sheets of kitchen roll and press to get as much water out as you can.
Courgettes (obviously) ... 4 or 5 supermarket sized ones or one huge allotment one *rolls eyes*
One or two cloves of garlic ... subject to personal taste
Tub of Creme Fraiche ... I use about 300g
Grated Emmental cheese .... enough to cover the top.
Salt and pepper to season.
1. Slice the courgettes thinly, leave to stand, go off and have a cup of tea, come back and press out the excess water
2. Grease an oven dish with butter.
3. Remember to turn on the oven, Gas Mk4/ 180.
4. Chop or crush the garlic cloves.
5. Build up the dish in layers .. a layer of sliced courgette, a sprinkling of crushed garlic, a few dollops of Creme Fraiche, a layer of courgette etc.
6. When you reach the last layer of courgette, season and add the rest of the Creme Fraiche.
7. Top with the grated Emmental.
7. Cook in the oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
8. Get out of oven
10. Wait for the assembled family to groan: "Oh god, not courgettes AGAIN!"
11. Don't mind at all because it's even nicer the next day, warmed up.
|Looks bad, tastes good.|