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So on the way home from work, N and I met up at our allotment to dig up what seems like ten tons of potatoes.  They are happily stored away in an assortment of saved paper bags.  I took a wander round the allotments and took some snaps of the lovely plots that other people have – none of mine this time, it’s looking more like I’m cultivated weeds…

The nice man who owns the plot next to us is growing these beauties…

yellow squash

And another plot that is stunning and designed like a garden complete with lawn and benches has a fence that is partly covered in a vine.  In amongst that vine are these dark, glossy green squash…

green squash

There are purple beans…

purple beans

Giant cabbages…

cabbages

Yellow courgettes and their delicate flowers…

yellow courgette

Greenhouses overflowing with ripening tomatoes…

greenhouse tomatoes

…fattening cucumbers…

cucumbers

…and onions drying…

drying onions

There is corn as tall as me…

sweetcorn

Blackberries are turning in the brambles surrounding the allotments…

blackberries

Apple trees are groaning beneath the weight of their laden bows…

apple tree

There are pears plumping up…

pear tree

pears

And fat marrows discarded by the path…

marrows

One lucky plot owner has in one small space two types of apple and a plum tree at the back, all of which are sagging, heavy with fruit…

fruit trees

The final burst of sweetpeas are overshadowed by their neighbours…

sweetpeas

Mallows, hollyhocks and scrambling nasturtiums are taking over where the poppies were…

cottage flowers

And jolly sunflowers bob in the breeze…

sunflowers

My allotment offers up one final surprise of early summer – another crop of ruby red strawberries, sweet and juicy…

late summer strawberries

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As a child courgettes were one of the vegetables I loathed.  I remember them cut in thick slices and cooked until slightly soft and mushy.  They were gross.

Now I have a much better relationship with courgettes, I have found ways in which to eat and cook them which have made me fall in love with them.  Courgettes are starting to ripen and I picked up a couple from Little Heath Farm that had been grown by a local lady with a large garden.  There was a perfectly formed round yellow courgette which I couldn’t resist, and chose a couple of green ones as well.  With some delicious French chevre cheese in the fridge along with a pack of Parma ham, a simple egg dinner was dreamt up – a frittata (fantastic as a store cupboard meal for those evenings when you can’t think what else to cook) with courgette, goat’s cheese and shreds of salty ham.

I’ve got another lovely courgette dish that I’ll post soon – semi-dried courgette and chilli pasta.

Here’s how to make it…

Soften half an onion in a little butter and oil.  Next, grate up your courgettes and pop them into the pan.

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There’s quite a bit of water in the courgettes, so let it cook out and then continue to saute the courgette until all the liquid has disappeared – a beautiful smell will start to waft up and fill your nostrils.  Then you know it’s ready.

Whisk up a couple of eggs (I used four for two of us) and season well with ground pepper and salt…

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Pour the beaten eggs into the pan with the courgette and onion mixture.  Crumble over the goat’s cheese…

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Finally shred over the Parma ham and bung in the oven for about 15 minutes until cooked.

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I find the frittata is best left for 10-15 minutes before eating, more of the flavours come through than when it’s piping hot.

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Now here’s the recipe for anyone who fancies making it for themselves.

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Courgette, goat’s cheese and Parma ham frittata

Feeds two hungry people

4 eggs
1/2 onion, diced
2 courgettes (1 green, 1 yellow)
1/2 slice of goat’s cheese
a couple of slices of Parma ham, torn into pieces
salt
pepper

*Please note, ideally you need a pan with a metal handle that can go into the oven – if you don’t, you will need to pop it under the grill rather than in the oven.

Preheat the oven to about 200°C.

In a pan, heat a little butter and olive oil and saute the chopped onion until soft.

Grate the courgettes and add to the softened onion.  Cook the courgettes – water will come out of them, so just keep cooking them gently until it all disappears and it starts to smell nice.

Beat the egg and season well with salt and pepper.  Tip the egg into the pan with the courgettes and onion and keep on a medium heat while you crumble over the goat’s cheese and add the torn Parma ham.

Turn off the heat and bung the pan into the oven for about 15 minutes until nicely golden on top and cooked through.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little (about 10-15 minutes).  Cut into wedges and serve on its own or with a garden fresh green salad.

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Eat the Earth

I love food, especially locally grown and seasonal food. This is my place to share my food finds and the food I like to eat.

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