We’ve all been there, haven’t we? After weeks of lovingly nurturing those courgette plants, and eagerly anticipating the first fruits of our labours, we all arrive at that point where, no matter what we do, and how diligently we harvest, they just keep coming, and there’s always one ‘escape artist’ which manages to conceal itself somewhere at the back of the vegetable garden just getting bigger and bigger.
So, now you have too many courgettes growing in the vegetable garden and have no more ideas on what to do with them all, even if you had enough time to cook and eat them all before the next generations of fruit turn into marrows!
We have compiled a few ideas here to lift you out of your misery! plus, our Gardening Chef is beavering away in the kitchen preparing some recipes which will soon follow. You can subscribe here, if you’d like them sent direct to your inbox as soon as we have them.
Ideas for storage all year (so you can enjoy some more courgettes when the plot is bare):
Make chutney –delicious stored in jars as a spicy apple and courgette chutney served with cold meat and cheese.
Make jam – a little grated courgette in your berry jams adds a new taste and will serve extra vitamins on your toast – great for introducing greens to children!
Pickle – pickle courgettes and chilli peppers in a herb vinegar for serving cold.
Freeze – Ahh – to freeze or not to freeze! The trouble with freezing courgettes is that they are full of water and will go mushy when frozen, but it is still possible if you follow these tips:
Cook them in something first and freeze that, such as cakes and quiche
Add to soups that you are going to freeze, as the water content does not matter
Roast or griddle them first to remove as much water as possible before freezing (they will still be mushy when thawed but will taste nice in recipes)
Grate raw and squeeze as much liquid out as possible before rolling into balls to freeze – again, they will still be mushy, but this way they can be add to soups and stocks all year, as the water content does not matter.
Add to other fruit and vegetables in a smoothie
(yes – the courgette is technically a fruit!)
Pasta and meat sauces – can be frozen too to add to pasta later!
Courgette carbonara sauce – carbonara is a cream sauce traditionally served with pasta
Courgette and tomato pasta sauce – add some lovely roast vegetables and tomatoes before blending and add to pasta or use as a pizza topping.
(Or leave the vegetables whole rather than blending for a chunky sauce)
Sweet baking – courgettes make cakes moist and better to store and can also be frozen
Courgette and carrot muffins
Courgette and chocolate cake
(both using grated courgettes)
Courgette and roast vegetable tart
Minted courgette slices in filo pastry bowls (recipe to follow!)
Vegetable crumble – add a cheesy savoury topping to roasted vegetables
Easy dishes or starters
Griddle courgette slices and halloumi cheese coated in pepper and drizzled with olive oil – great with pasta
Courgette meatballs – you can also add vegetarian mince or cheese
Courgette and halloumi cheese kebabs – skewer onto disposable bamboo sticks with cherry tomatoes and peppers
Courgette fritters – grated courgettes and other vegetables fried in flour
Courgette burgers – can add minced beef
Deep fried courgette slices – coated in batter – yummy!
Courgette and carrot batons – thin strips can be ste3amed or stir fried
Spring rolls – roll paper thin strips with chicken and Chinese greens
Soup – lots of soup! Great with chilli pepper and sweet potato – and easy to freeze
(Tip: add a little soup to gravy to taste good and introduce veg to your children – then you do not mind the chips so much!)
Courgette curry – add anything else you like such as chicken and season to taste
Courgette moussaka – use roasted vegetables and minced beef or lentils for a vegetarian version
Courgette risotto – with rice
Courgette and cauliflower cheese – layered between seasoned cheese sauce with grated cheese on top and oven baked
Ratatouille – courgettes and your choice of roasted vegetables in a rich tomato sauce
Stew and lasagne – the possibilities are endless!
Stuffed dishes for larger courgettes or marrows!
Either cut in half lengthways, discard seeds, remove and chop flesh, mix with ingredients, refill and roast.
Or slice shortways about 2” strips, remove centre ring and stuff with your choice of filling eg
- Mince and tomato – Add to minced beef and tomato sauce with peppers and top with cheese
- Omelette – Add to mushrooms, feta cheese and a few beaten eggs
(Larger marrows can be stored for a while depending on the variety if the skin is hard)