Hi, I'm Theresa Storey and I run The Green Apron Artisan Preserve and Tea Company and write and blog and garden and teach and.....

Courgettes courgettes everywhere.

cougettes-009This is my favorite food time of the year. Cougette season.

I will happily eat them three times a day, in fact I often have to to keep up with the glut. I get terribly greedy about them at the start and end of the season when I have only a few.  I watch the rest of the family as they are eating my precious courgettes and grudge them every mouthfull , and sometimes have little secret cougette feasts when they are’nt home.(A bit like Hobbits and mushrooms). But I know they dont love them as much as I do and the season isnt long.

First thing is DO NOT BUY COURGETTES IN A SUPERMARKET. They are nasty and often bitter and bear no resemblance to fresh courgettes. Go to your local market and get freshly picked ones ,grow your own or get somebody who does grow their own to share. The season is normally from June to September.

To grow your own is easy.

Plant seeds at the end of april in pots of compost under cover or outdoors in May. When they have a few real leaves (not seed leaves ) plant them out of the pots into the ground( about 1m apart) or  in containers.  You can readily buy plants at most markets and garden centers. Courgettes are heavy feeders so either put about a bucketload of horse/cow manure in a hole ,cover the manure with soil and plant the courgettes on top or feed them really well all summer.They do very well in containers too.

They come in a variety of shapes and colors. Long, round, ridged Dark green, mid green, yellow, striped and pale green. Take your pick.

Pick them as soon as they reach a reasonable size. I  usually use them at about 8 inches . The more you pick the more you get. Check carefully that one isnt lurking under the leaves or else suddenly you find a marrow  and the plant isn’t as productive anymore.

What to do with all the courgettes.

cougettes-010The first ones of the season I slice and fry in butter.Fantastic.cougettes-011

When I get tired of this I let them grow a bit larger slice them into rings dip them in egg and then breadcrumbs and fry them. I love this too. Sometimes I eat more as I’m cooking them than gets left for the rest of the family.

My friend Amanda shared this recipe with us.You cant believe how good this tastes and even courgette haters love it .

Courgette Bake

Cut courgettes in wedges lenthwise ,chop up a few cloves of garlic and fry both in butter untill slightly soft. Put in a casserole dish and pour some cream over them until they are almost covered.sprinkle grated cheese over the top and bake at 200 Deg until the dish is bubbly and golden season with asalt and loads of black pepper . Yuuummmy!

We make this in tinfoil containers and freeze before its cooked and use it all winter.

A lower fat version is to steam the corgettes instead of frying and use a lowfat yougurt instead of cream.its good this way but not so heartstoppingly yum.

We add sliced courgettes to casseroles , stews, pasta sauce and  soups  and freeze the slices to add to these all through the rest of the year. Sadly frozen slices dont fry well so I have to wait for the season to return.

There is still  time to plant plants for this seasonso go out and try them.

I dream of a day when I have a heated and lit greenhouse where i can have courgettes and tomatos all year.Heaven!


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