Courgettes 2018 – Recipe for courgette fritters

COURGETTE SEASON 2018

So the 2018 courgette season has arrived and I’m enjoying trying out new recipes to find different ways of preparing them. I prefer to pick them when they are still quite small. That way you can use several at a time when they are at their best for a side dish rather than waiting until they are the size of marrows. There are always some that get away but I’ll slice these lengthways and give them to the chickens so that they can peck out the seeds.

FAVOURITE COURGETTE RECIPE

My all-time favourite way of preparing courgettes is to slice the small courgettes into 2cm slices. Fry them in a covered pan with some extra virgin olive oil. Turn every so often so that they lose their liquid and catch a bit of colour on each side. After 10 minutes or so, toss in a knob of butter, grind over some black pepper and squeeze over some lemon juice. Delicious.

DIFFERENT RECIPES

My challenge each year is to find some new and interesting recipes to use up the abundant crop.

The first recipe I tried didn’t salt the courgettes first which proved to be a messy mistake. In the second one I salted the grated courgette and left for an hour before squeezing the water out.

This recipe is adapted from Felicity Cloake’s “How to cook …” column in the Guardian “How to cook the perfect courgette fritters“.

The second recipe worked a lot better and I’d use this technique again in the future.

Here is the recipe.

Courgette fritters
Serves 2
A simple recipe for courgette fritters
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Ingredients
  1. 2 medium-sized courgettes, coarsely grated
  2. 1 small salad onion, finely chopped
  3. 2 handfuls of grated cheese
  4. 2 tablespoons self-raising flour
  5. 2 tablespoons polenta
  6. 1 egg
  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Put the courgette in a bowl, sprinkle over the salt and mix well.
  2. Leave for about an hour and then transfer to a colander and squeeze out the water.
  3. Add the onion and egg and mix well.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Heat some oil in a frying pan.
  6. Put in sponfuls of the courgette mixture and fry on a high heat for 3 minutes.
  7. Flip the fritters and fry for a further 3 minutes on the other side.
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Chickpea courgette mash

Chickpea courgette mash

chickpea and courgette mash

Chickpea and courgette mash

This recipe for chickpea courgette mash is made with the same ingredients as those used in hummus: chickpeas, garlic, tahini and lemon juice as well as the courgettes. Inspiration for it came from the courgette hummus recipe.

The important thing about growing and harvesting courgettes is to pick them when they are small before they get too big. My favourite way of preparing courgettes is to thickly slice the courgettes and then slowly fry them in a splash of olive oil before dressing with salt, black pepper, a squeeze of lemon juice and a knob of butter.

Courgettes or zucchini are low in calories and contain folate, potassium and Vitamin A. They are extremely flexible and can be prepared and eaten in many different ways (raw, boiled, fried, roast or barbecued). Interestingly enough, there is no difference between a courgette and the larger marrow, it’s simply that courgettes are harvested earlier while marrows are left to grow larger. That said, however, some species taste better as courgettes while others taste better as marrows.

In the summer when courgette production is in full swing, it’s good to find new ways of cooking courgettes. For more recipes for courgettes, check out this recipe book on Amazon: What Will I Do with All Those Courgettes?

INGREDIENTS:
courgettes, cut into 1cm cubes
400g cooked chickpeas
1 tablespoon tahini
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon cumin
olive oil
salt and pepper

METHOD:
To make the chickpea courgette mash, heat some olive oil in a frying pan and add the cubed courgette. Fry gently until they have lost all their liquid and are almost starting to brown.

Add the chickpeas, garlic and cumin and stir well for a minute or so. Stir in the tahini and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Heat through.

Remove half of the mixture to a bowl and blend with a stick blender. Pour back into the frying pan.

The idea is to evaporate some, most or all of the liquid depending on how dry you want it. I like to make it fairly dry so that it browns as you continue frying it.