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Entries in courgettes (36)

Tuesday
Jul222014

fried courgette and burrata pasta

i’ve been catching up on my blog reading and have been particularly inspired by a few smitten kitchen recipes, including this ottolenghi pasta and fried courgette salad. it was an intriguing read – deep-fried courgette is dressed with a little red wine vinegar plus a basil and parsley pesto, the combination of which is very moreish. add capers, lemon zest and more basil plus pasta and you end up with a lovely fresh-tasting vegetable-laden dish. add torn pieces of creamy burrata and the deliciousness is amped up several notches.

the original recipe also includes edamame beans, which i didn’t have so couldn’t include. fresh peas or broad beans would also have been nice but again i was out of them so just increased the courgette, which was no real hardship given how amazing the deep-fried discs tasted, especially once they’d been marinating in the dressing. 

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Thursday
May152014

roasted vegetable pithivier

a pithivier is a very easy pie to make – a disc of puff pastry laid on a tray then topped with your cooked filling, a larger disc of pastry placed on top, the edges sealed and all brushed with egg or milk for a shiny finish, before being cooked in the oven for around half an hour, so the pastry can cook through and the filling heat up.

i was inspired to make this by a recipe for a version filled with roasted apple and shallots with blue cheese. i needed to use up some vegetables that were looking a little sorry for themselves – a few courgettes and a red pepper – so decided on a roasted vegetable and cheese version. i added a sweet potato to provide a softer more comforting texture (squash would also have been nice), some red onion plus chilli and garlic. grated cheese (including some ricotta), fresh thyme and seasoning were the next additions. the mix looked a little dry so i added half a tin of chopped tomatoes and that was it.

half an hour at 180c and the pie was ready. it looks a bit messy as i was stretching my pastry (a 270g pack of butter puff pastry) a little further than i should have so the base crumbled as i lifted it from the tray. no matter, it tasted lovely with a rocket and beetroot salad on the side. best of all, half the pie was leftover and will be my lunch over the next few days.

i have a fancy for making a sweet version some time soon – dusting the top with a little sugar for crunch – perhaps with flavours similar to this plum and almond galette, which is a similarly rough and ready tart.

Friday
Sep202013

pizzocheri

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 butter.to 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.

Tuesday
Aug272013

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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Wednesday
Aug142013

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.