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Entries in courgettes (34)



pizzocheri is a buckwheat pasta which has a rich nutty flavour that contrasts really well with mild creamy flavours. last time i made this i took a fairly traditional approach, pairing it with potatoes, spinach (cabbage seems to be used more commonly) and lots of cheese (taleggio and gruyere). this time i went a bit off piste, although it was the need to use up an oozingly ripe goats cheese camembert that was my starting point.

lots of butter is apparently also important with pizzocheri so i started this off by cooking some courgette in the aforementioned lots of this i added some leftover roast potatoes and roast chicken, both diced. a handful of basil, seasoning and some grated hard cheese (these were leftover from a cheeseboard, along with the camembert).

i placed half the mix in my serving dish, topped it with slices of the camembert and then added the rest of the mix before finishing it off with some grated cheddar. 15-20 minutes in the oven at 190c and that’s it – ready and delicious with a green salad.


tagliatelle with courgette and pancetta


this is a great dish to make while courgettes are still in season and full of flavour, especially if you’re lucky enough to be growing your own and able to eat them when they are freshly picked (people always talk about a freshly picked tomato having more flavour than those you can buy, for me it is courgettes that most repay your home-gardening efforts).

the courgettes are the star of the dish, sautéed in butter until they start to turn golden. they also soak up the porky goodness of pancetta (if you want to keep this veggie i think sundried tomatoes can do a similar job) and i added a little garlic and chilli as well. 

the genius ingredient, which gets everything to work together, is capers. lemon is my default choice when i want something sharp or fresh in a dish, but the salty capers give a more subtle tang which, i think, works particularly well with butteriness of the rest of the dish. parsley and basil to finish.

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stuffed courgettes

my oversupply of fennel was accompanied by an abundance of courgettes – i got over-excited and ordered three different types and then had to work out ways to use them up! i mostly relied on this courgette and double-tomato pasta recipe, which i’m a bit obsessed with this year. however, for the round courgettes i wanted to retain and make use of their shape. stuffing them seemed to be the obvious thing to do.

i decided to keep things (mostly) vegetarian and while the scooped-out courgettes were roasting (20 mins at 200c, having rubbed with oil and seasoned their insides) i fried some shallots and garlic with the courgette flesh, some finely diced aubergines (i was making a batch of this aubergine and lentil salad so kept the ends for my courgette dish) and some nduja (this is the non-veggie component but you could easily use harissa paste or fresh chillies).

once this had softened i added some diced sundried tomatoes, a handful of toasted pine nuts and torn basil leaves. i wanted to bulk everything up a bit more so rehydrated a handful of couscous and added this to the mix. this was used to stuff the partly cooked courgette cases, with a hidden surprise of smoked mozzarella in the middle; i also topped each courgette with a little extra mozzarella (omit this, as well as the nduja, if you want a vegan version). another 15 minutes in the oven and this was ready to serve.

we ate this with anna hansen’s lemongrass braised cherry tomatoes and warm ciabatta, to mop up the tomato juices.


ofm top twenty: courgette, feta, pea and mint flatbreads


this allegra mcevedy recipe, which is part of the ofm top twenty , is described as a good option for lunch, or even a packed lunch. easy cooking and easy eating, apparently. i made them for brunch today and think they would be good at any time of day. not that the recipe was perfect, that would be too easy!

so, how did i get on?

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wild garlic and basil oil

it’s been a while since i made pizza but it was worth the wait to enjoy this version, which used a wild garlic and basil oil as the base sauce.

wild garlic is wonderfully flexible and i enjoy using it with pasta as well as risottos and pilafs. however, i have learnt the hard way that using it in a pesto can result in something too pungent to enjoy. the key is to mix it with another flavour – rocket is nice, as are other herbs. this time i used a 50:50 mix of basil and wild garlic.

i smeared this on the pizza dough, added thin slices of courgette, salami and mozzarella. the result was wonderfully fresh and spring like.