Tag Archives: courgettes

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.

Round courgettes on Stockley farm

We grow organic round courgettes on our farm in Cheshire and took a trip to the fields to see them. They taste the same as the regular long courgettes that we have in ourorganic round courgettes in cheshire boxes but the shape of these ones make them good for stuffing.

They’re grown in pots before we transplant them between April and July and pick them around six weeks later. The fruit grows quickly so we have to keep an eye on them. Sometimes mildew can cause problems in cold and wet weather, but we cut off any leaves that are affected.

Round courgettes are delicate so when they’re ready for harvesting we pick them by hand.

Try roasting round courgettes in olive oil or on a BBQ. You can also try them stuffed with rice and vegetables and roasted.
Order round courgettes and other veg from Riverford Organic

what’s what in the box – 2nd august 2010

Every week we give you tips on using the new season or unusual veg in the boxes. In this week’s video, find out what to do with cabbage, salad pack, courgettes and artichokes. This week the video is in two parts.

what’s what in the box – 2nd august 2010 (part 1)

what’s what in the box – 2nd august 2010 (part 2)

 

onions:
In the spring they were fairly small. This week we have bunched onions in the boxes but in 3 weeks or so we’ll have dried onions.

salad pack
We grow a lot of salad leaves in Devon. We put a mixture of them in the salad pack including pak choi, mustard, rocket and other baby leaves but it depends on what has grown well this week. The idea is to get a good blend and balance of flavours, colours, and textures.

hispi cabbage
These sweet cabbages have been growing well this year. Try chopping up and washing them then blanching in hot water with lemon juice, a knob of butter and pepper. In the Field Kitchen we’ve been quartering them, steaming them and putting them with chorizo sausage, capers and parsley.

courgettes
Courgettes have been in season for around a month now and they generally run until the end of August. Try to eat them fresh. Slice them thinly lengthways, add a little bit of oil and salt and pepper, then chargrill them.

veg of the month – courgettes

Whether they’re coming from your garden or your vegbox, courgettes are a reliable summer staple; a doddle to grow and versatile in the kitchen. Ours are grown by AndyRiverford Organic Courgettes Hayllor and other members of the South Devon Organic Producers co-op. They do well even in a damp summer and are one of the most vigorous, high-yielding crops of the year. Store your courgettes in a cool place. Although they look fine for a week or more, they lose their flavour quickly and are best eaten within a few days.

cooking

Courgettes can be used in all sorts of dishes; either as the star of a meal or thrown in to bulk out curries, sauces, ratatouille and chillis. You can knock up a simple sauce from courgettes in the time it takes your pasta to cook: grate and cook them in olive oil until soft, then season and add some chopped tarragon and capers. Toss with the pasta and grate over a little lemon zest and parmesan for a quick summery supper. Another simple weeknight idea is to layer sliced tomatoes and courgettes in a gratin dish, sprinkling the layers with a little olive oil, a few oregano leaves and some salt and pepper. Drizzle with a bit more oil and bake for half an hour at 200°C until tender and patched with brown.

Deep-fried courgettes make a moreish treat. First, make a light batter by mixing 150g plain flour with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and enough lukewarm water to make a double cream consistency. Leave to rest for 20 minutes, then just before use, fold in two stiffly whipped egg whites and some seasoning. Cut courgettes into chips, dip them in the batter and deep-fry until light brown. Fresh courgettes can be good in salads too – grate or slice them thinly (squeezing over some lemon juice helps to bring them to life). If you have a favourite recipe for courgettes enter it in our monthly competition on the Riverford Cooks website. Every month the best recipe wins a fruit box, so get your culinary juices going at cooks.riverford.co.uk.

field banter + music festivals

This is being written in the Vendée, where the courgettes are growing so quickly that we have to pick them every day and even then the field is littered with discarded marrows that got away from us. The specification (35-50mm diameter) is the source of much mirth; my French is not up to much and I struggle to follow the field banter, but it seems to centre around the women having a more realistic estimate of size. When the courgettes are finished it is onto the bunched carrots; here the jokes are all about “carrottes amoureuses” where two roots have followed the same fissure down through the soil and become entwined. They are the happiest workforce I have ever known. The only other work around here is pulling the guts out of ducks at the local abattoir so perhaps it is not surprising that they seem so happy to be out in the fields.

I travelled down via London and the V&A where, amongst statues, jewels and porcelain, we collected the Observer Best Ethical Online Retailer award to add to the Best Ethical Business and Best Ethical Restaurant we won last year; most gratifying. Thanks to those of you who voted for us.

The yurt-housed Travelling Field Kitchen has been on the road for a month now, first in Hampshire and more recently at Freightliners City Farm in London. The food has been fantastic and the atmosphere harmonious and joyful. Logistically it is as difficult as getting a crusade to Jerusalem, but the contented hubbub of conversation from 80 well-fed diners reminds me why we embarked on this crazy project in the first place. At the end of July we take our yurt to WOMAD (23rd-25th July). As well as running a pared-down version of the restaurant in the mornings, we are sponsoring the Taste the World stage where, after performing on the main stages, musicians from all over the world come to cook, tell stories and play the occasional song to small and intimate audiences before sharing food with them. If, like me, you are a bit crowd phobic, with an eclectic taste in music, I cannot recommend WOMAD highly enough; it is a very civilised experience.

Guy Watson from Riverford in Devon