questions to the cook – 16th August 2010

Every week we’re answering your questions about cooking, preparing, or storing the fruit, veg, and anything else you get from us. This week Guy answers your questions about courgettes, pointed cabbage and storing your veg. See the original post here.

Post your questions here on the blog and we’ll pass them to our cooks to answer in the next questions to the cook blog.

This week’s questions

courgettes from Riverford OrganicI have quite a few cougettes left and would like some recipes for them. I live alone so recipes that I can portion up and freeze would be good. I am a veggie so no dead animals. Thanks .
Trina Hollis

We are just over the peak of the UK courgette season (typically the last week in July and first two of August is when they are really flushing). As the days get shorter and the nights get cooler the plants run out of vigour they slow down fast. My favourite way of using them is to make a fritter. Grate as many as you have and mix with a little salt to draw out moisture. Leave for five minutes then wrap in a tea towel and wring out as much moisture as possible. Click here for a recipe for courgette and feta fritters with tomato salsa

Jane makes a great salad with tomatoes and courgettes cut into slices lengthways and griddled. See the full recipe here.

One more thing; courgettes are best fresh. After a few days in the fridge they may look OK but they rapidly lose flavour.


Pointed cabbage! Nearly everything else I have found a way of using, actually one of the reasons for trying a veg box was that I felt I was in a veggie rut, but pointed cabbage…sigh. I have tried some things with it, but I still feel a bit uninspired. Something quick, tasty, and different!
Jackie Gibbins

These are a variety called hispi and are incredibly sweet and tender and need very little cooking. Cut in half lengthways and slice thinly. Wash and drain and steam in

pointed cabbage from Riverford Organic

a pan with a tight lid. Serve with a knob of butter plus salt and pepper. If a bit more adventurous slice up some garlic and gently fry in a little butter in the pan for a minute before adding the cabbage as before. Stir through some grated parmesan when cooked…yum. We are serving this in the travelling field kitchen at the moment, sometimes adding finely sliced runner beans with the cabbage..


Is it really best to store vegetables in plastic bags in the fridge? I always thought that paper bags were better as this stopped them sweating.
Joby Blume

I know most of you hate those plastic bags but for leafy veg they are pretty much essential to stop them wilting. They only cause sweating if they get warm (can act as something between a green house and a compost heap) so get them in the fridge and they will be fine. Roots are generally better in paper (especially potatoes to keep them in the dark and onions to keep them dry).

If you have any questions, post them here.

4 responses to “questions to the cook – 16th August 2010

  1. Caroline Harrison

    help! i’ve been at the hedge veg again! just picked a load of damsons, most of the ones I picked are ok, but hubby picked quite a few greenies, what would you recomend to do with ones that are not quite ripe? risk making jam or make a chutney? and do you have any recipies? also what can i do with elderberries (but make shockingly good wine) and rosehips which i’ve been told are packed with vit c, but again can’t seem to find anything to do with this great “hedge veg” i have all within walking distance of my house. thanks caroline

  2. Can I freeze the beetroot chocolate brownies from your Riverford cookbook? and how long can I keep them? Thanks.

  3. Julie Gibbons says Go Organic!

    Just wanted to say in reply to:

    “Is it really best to store vegetables in plastic bags in the fridge? I always thought that paper bags were better as this stopped them sweating.”

    You can source plastic-free storage bags from the soil association to stop your leafy greens wilting. They’re compostable and made out of traceable corn starch.

  4. Courgette and Tomato Soup with Tarragon – it’s a winner and freezes fantastically
    http://lyonsleaf-herbal-berbal.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/courgette-tomato-soup-with-tarragon-ive.html

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