Courgettes with everything!

  It is that time of year. The courgettes are coming thick and fast and it can be hard to know what to with them. My favourite way to store them is in the freezer as soup. I make buckets of the stuff which makes fantastic frugal lunches. 

I also enjoy them cooked very simply with onions and garlic as a side dish or I make a poor man’s version of ratatouille with no aubergine: chopped and sautéed onions, garlic, a sweet pepper and sliced courgettes with a couple of cans of chopped tomatoes, a stock cube, chopped herbs (fresh or dried), a splash of wine if I have any sitting around and plenty of seasoning.  
 I made ratatouille last week and it was a side dish with some baked chicken and then two days worth of lunches with some rice.
  Courgettes and mushrooms gently sautéed in butter is quick and easy. Looking through my blog, this time last year I tried stuffed courgettes with feta so I shall do that again – the recipe is  here. I made some glutney chutney as well which used onions, tomatoes and courgettes, all from the garden, so some form of courgette chutney is on the cards again this year.
  I have never tried them as courgette cake but I fully intend to this year. I love carrot cake so why not? My courgette recipe book also suggests pickling in the same way as you would cucumbers. Has anyone tried this?

Do you have any gluts of your home grown fruit and veg, and how do you preserve them?

Ratatouille

imageI don’t usually make ratatouille out of courgette season. In the summer I always have a glut so it regularly appears on my meal plans. However they were very reasonably priced in Aldi and they also had some delicious looking red peppers so we had this for dinner last night served with rice and topped with grated cheddar. Healthy, yummy and still good value. I vary this and never use a recipe; however this is roughly what I included last night.

Serves 6-8

4 medium courgettes, sliced
2 onions, chopped (as I had red and white I used one of each)
3 fat cloves of garlic
2 chopped peppers – I used one green and one red
2 tbsp olive oil
2 400g tins chopped tomatoes
2 tsp dried basil
1 vegetable stock cube

Heat the oil and sweat the onions and garlic for 5 minutes until soft. Add the courgettes and peppers for a further five minutes. Pour in the tomatoes and add the crumbled stock cube. Season well with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes and serve.

Three of us ate this for dinner yesterday, myself and DD1 had it again for lunch today, and me and Mr S will have it tomorrow with some baked chicken thighs. No complaints from the family either – in the midst of the summer glut they flinch when they see courgettes on their dinner plates in various guises 🙂