Now that you’ve grown your wonderful tasty produce what are you going to do with it? In particular there are some crops that come many at once and are difficult to store. One such favourite of allotmenters is the courgette. They come thick and fast in mid-season. You give them to family friends and possibly to the exchange barrow. Here are a selection (we need more) of recipes to use up your produce and or let you freeze it for later use in the lean Winter months.

Courgette and tomato soup:

1 & 1/2pounds (700gm) Courgettes chopped
1 & 1/2pounds (700gm) Tomatoes skined and chopped
2 Large onions chopped
4 Cloves Garlic crushed
2-3 Teaspoons Dried Basil 1 pint (0.567 litre) Boiling water 1 Dessertspoon Tomato puree Olive oil Butter Salt & Pepper to taste Milk to thin out. Choped fresh basil – garnish.

Melt oil and butter in a saucepan and sweat the vegetables until softened (about 15 mins). Add dried basil, water and tomato puree. Simmer for 20 mins. Liquidise, add enough milk to correct consistency. Check the seasoning. Sprinkle chopped fresh basil over (if desired) and serve.

Courgette Bread:

1 & 1/4 pounds (560gm) white bread flour
1 pound (450gm) courgettes trimmed and grated – not skinned
1 Tablespoon salt
1 sachet dried yeast
8 Fluid oz (0.226 Litre) tepid water
1 Tablespoon Olive oil

Sprinkle the grated courgettes with the salt and leave for about 30 mins. Squeeze out the excess moisture in a teatowel or muslin. Disolve the yeast in half the water, mix with the flour and courgettes, add the olive oil and enough of the remaining water to make a smooth but fairly firm dough. Knead for about 10 minutes, prove till doubled in size and knead again. Shape into a cylinder, lay on a buttered tray, cover with a damp teatowel and leave to prove once more for about 45 minutes. Brush with olive oil or egg yolk and bake at 220 degrees for 30 – 45 minutes.

Savoury Scones (using courgettes):

1lb (450gm) Self Raising Flour
2 Level teaspoons Baking Powder
3/4lb (340gm) Grated Courgettes (leave the skin on)
1 Tablespoon Salt
4oz (112gm) Margarine
Approx. 10 Tablespoon milk or sour milk or a mixture of the two. Butter milk Crème Fraise can also be used.
4oz (112gm) Grated Cheddar Cheese
1 Level Teaspoon dry Mustard Powder

Pre heat the oven to 425F degrees or 200-220C in fan assisted oven or Gas Mark 7.

Put grated courgettes into a bowl and mix with the salt.Leave for about tem minutes. Drain and squeeze out the excess juice from the courgette in a clean tea towel or piece of muslin.
In another bowl rub the margarine into the flour and baking powder with the fingertips or use a hand electric mixer on low speed until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add the grated cheese, mustard and courgette then enough milk to make a soft manageable dough.Roll out the dough to about ½ inch (1cm) thick and cut into rounds with a pastry cutter. Place the rounds on a greased baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes until well risen and a nice golden brown.

Courgette Salad:

Not many people realise that courgettes can be eaten raw but they can and they make a succulent salad. Quantities of all ingredients depend upon taste and how many are being served and if you want it as a ‘course’ on its own.

Courgette salad with tomato and basil with courgette bread.

Freshly picked courgette (not too large)
diced ham (optional)
diced cheese (optional)
fresh chopped herbs e.g. basil, coriander, flat leaved parsley (optional)
Chopped or sliced fresh tomato (optional)
freshly ground sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
extra virgin olive oil
Squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
Splash of white wine vinegar (optional)

Remove ends of courgette and slice thinly (2-4mm or 1/8th inch it isn’t critical)into a bowl season with salt and pepper. Drizzle a small quantity of olive oil over (apr. one cap full per average sized courgette). Toss. Serve with fresh bread.
That’s the simplest form of the dish. For the other variations try it with the cheese or the ham and with or without the tomatoes and or herbs. If cheese or ham is used the salt isn’t vital.
Try it with the lemon juice or vinegar.
For a slightly more exotic version try thinly slicing the courgettes lenghtwise (with a mandolin or the slicer on your cheese grater.
Finally, experiment for yourselves.

Bob’s Betroot Chutney:
1&1/2 lb (700gm) Apple peeled, cored and chopped.
2 lb (930gm) Beetroot peeled raw and chopped or shredded.
1 lb (450gm) Onions skinned and chopped.
1 lb (450gm) Sultanas and/or raisins (chopped or left whole)
2 pints (1.134 litre) Malt vinegar.
6 level teaspoons powdered ginger.
1&1/2 lb (700gm) Sugar.

Put everything together in a pan and bring to the boil. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan, until pulpy. Ladle into heated jars and then seal while still hot. Keep for a few weeks before eating to allow the chutney to mature.

Makes approximately 6 lbs (2.8Kgm).

Brown Sauce – Similar to HP fruity:
1Kgm red and/or green tomatoes
1Kgm Courgettes
1 large Bramley apple all chopped small
250gm onions chopped
450 gm chopped prunes or raisins or dates or a mixture of them all
1″ – 25mm piece of root ginger chopped finely.
Muslin bag containing 1 teaspoon each of:
Peppercorns, cloves, coriander seeds and a stick of cinnamon. (Use a square of muslin about 12cmx12cm (5″x5″) to put the spices in and tie up with string.)
500gm brown sugar
750ml spiced malt vinegar.
4 red chillies dried or fresh.
2 tablespoons black treacle
1 tablespoon salt

Using half the sugar boil the above ingredients, except the treacle and salt, for 1 – 1&½ hours. Take out the spice bag and discard it. Liquidise the remaining contents, pass through a sieve and return to a clean pan. Add the remaining sugar, the salt and black treacle. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5mins. Pour into hot sterilised jars, seal (while still hot) and label when cold.

Makes approximately 2.25Kgm.

Roz’s Tomato Sauce:
Makes approx. one 8oz jar.

2&1/4 1b ripe tomatoes (preferably beefsteak type) – chopped
1 onion (red or white or shallots – approx. 8oz) – chopped
1 chilli (optional) – chopped
1″ cube ginger – chopped (or 1 level tsp. ginger powder)
2 cloves garlic -crushed
1 level tsp. paprika (omit if using fresh chilli)
1 level tsp. salt
1/4 pint cider vinegar
1&1/2 oz. brown sugar

Put the tomatoes, onion garlic and fresh ginger and chilli (if used) into a heavy based saucepan and bring to the boil. Gently simmer until soft. Do not over boil as you will spoil the delicate flavours. Stir occasionally
Place a metal sieve on top of a saucepan and tip the tomato mix into the sieve. Rub through the sieve with a spoon until the pulp is almost dry. Discard the pulp. Bring the liquid to the boil and simmer gently until the liquid has reduced by half, stirring occasionally. (approx. 45mins)
Add the sugar, cider vinegar, salt and paprika if needed (if you are using powder ginger add it at this point). Stir in the ingredients until the sugar is dissolved.
Reduce the mixture until it thickens to a sauce type consistency (about 45 mins) you will need to stir frequently as the mixture thickens. Pour into an 8oz sterilized jar and seal.
Keep in a fridge or cool place. Once open keep in fridge.
(NB best made in small batches – doubling the quantity does not work as well for some reason.

Spiced Pickled Pears – Serve with roast duck etc.:
10 allspice berries
6 cloves
Half a cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon of mixed peppercorns
1 star anise
Zest of one lemon in strips
About 1&½ ” (3 – 4cm) root ginger sliced
350ml white wine vinegar
300ml cider vinegar
12oz light soft brown sugar
1.5Kgm of firm unblemished pears.

Put all the ingredients, except the pears, into a large pan and bring to the boil stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved.
Meanwhile peel the pears leaving the stem intact. There is no need to core them. Keep them in cold water with some lemon juice until the pan contents come to the boil.
Remove the pears from the lemon water and add to the pan. Add water to cover the pears if necessary. Simmer gently for 15 – 20 minutes until the pears are translucent and tender.
Put the pears into sterilised jars. Boil the syrup rapidly until reduced to about one litre and pour onto the pears and seal the jars. When cool, label the jars.
They should keep for up to six months.

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