We had a glut for broad beans and courgettes. We made spicy courgette fritters and a a grilled courgette, pea, bean and feta potato salad. Everyone had tons of fun in the sunshine and and made the most of the good weather. Recipes below.
Courgette, broad bean, pea mint and ricotta bruschetta
1 good handful podded broad beans
1 courgette sliced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the bread
zest and a little juice from 1 lemon
10 mint leaves, roughly chopped
flaky sea salt and black pepper
2 thick good bread
½ a garlic clove
3 tablespoons crumbled feta
grill or griddle the courgettes until slightly charred
place the broad beans into boiling water for 5 minutes, remove and plunge into cold water, then drain and skin them. put the beans in a small bowl and dress them in the olive oil, the lemon zest, a little lemon juice and most of the chopped mint. season with salt and pepper.
Boil the peas for approx. 5 mins and drain, add peas to broadbeans
toast or grill the slices of bread so that they are crunchy on the outside but still have a bit of give when squeezed. rub one side of each slice a few times with the cut side of the garlic clove so that it melts into the bread’s hot surface. drizzle with olive oil.
Season the fresh feta with and black pepper to taste, then crumble on to the hot, garlicky bread. top with the courgettes, broad beans and garnish with the remaining chopped mint.
Hugh’s courgettes, mozzarella, pasta
Hugh’s courgettes, mozzarella, pasta, taken from his 3 Good Things on More4. Hugh’s recognised a simple pattern that underpins so many well-loved dishes – that they are little more or less than three good things on a plate and in this series, he pursues that idea, experimenting with different flavours and textures.
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- A knob of butter
- 500g courgettes, trimmed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 250g pasta shapes, such as penne or rigatoni
- 2 balls of buffalo mozzarella (250g in total)
- 2 tablespoons double cream
- Freshly grated Parmesan, hard goat’s cheese or other well-flavoured hard cheese
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas 5 and lightly butter an oven dish, about 1.5 litre capacity. Cut the courgettes into 3mm thick slices.
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the courgettes. Once they are sizzling nicely, but before they start to brown, turn the heat down and season with a little salt; this helps draw out their moisture. Cook the courgettes gently, stirring often and breaking them down a little with your spatula or wooden spoon as they become tender. Continue to cook until they have softened almost to the point of mushiness – up to half an hour. Add the garlic when you think they are almost done. You should end up with a fragrant, garlicky, rough courgette puree.
Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to the boil, salt it well and add the pasta. Cook for a minute or two less than the minimum time suggested on the packet, so it is marginally underdone.
Drain the pasta well. Add the mushy, garlicky courgettes and stir to combine. Tear up the mozzarella with your hands and add it to the pasta, along with the cream. Season with salt and pepper and stir the whole lot together one more time.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared oven dish and give it a good grating of Parmesan or other hard cheese. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until piping hot and golden brown on top. Serve straight away.
This recipe is one of hundreds of new recipes which can be found in the book which inspired the series,
Courgette Fritters are a healthy and delicious entry in a type of food that has become notorious for its fat content (though my carrot and coriander fritters are another notable exception). The stigma attached to fritters came to the fore with the arrival of the Mars bar fritter in a hazy, calorie filled moment around 10 years ago (correct me if I’m wrong). Essentially a deep fried Mars bar, these hunks of what is essentially just fat and sugar endowed the term ‘fritter’ with something of a bad name. Gladly, with health a growing concern for many the aforementioned fritter – we shall no longer speak its name – has rightly fallen from grace and out of vogue (except perhaps in Glasgow). Though some notable and respectable household chefs still seek to add fat and cheese to their fritters, the very best renditions are light and just a tad spicy – perfection in the summer months.
To my mind, there are two ways of cooking fritters – you can shallow fry them, or deep fry them. Either is good and if done properly deep frying doesn’t leave you with a fat soaked heap of a fritter. However, my personal favourite method is shallow frying – it makes less mess and is the healthier option of the two. I also find that with shallow frying you get a light crunch and crispiness, something that suits the profile of these fritters inimitably.
You can flavour these courgette fritters any way you please – they needn’t be spicy, but I would keep the base recipe roughly the same. Herbs work very well as they maintain the lightness of the ensemble, whereas cheese would work but create a heavier, fattier fritter that to my mind is best reserved for “burgers”. These are well served atop a mound of crisp salad, alongside pita bread and a little mango chutney, yoghurt, salsa or even hummus.
Could anything be more perfect for this warm weather than a courgette fritter? Is there anything you’d like to see me turn into a fritter?
• 2 courgettes, grated
• 4 tbsp gram flour
• 75-100ml water
• 1 small red onion, finely chopped
• 2 cloves of garlic, mashed
• A large handful of fresh herbs, finely chopped
• 2 tsp cumin seed, freshly ground
• 1 tsp coriander seed, freshly ground
• ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
• Salt and pepper
1. Toast your spices gently and add them to a large mixing bowl. Take your grated courgettes, squeeze most of the water out of them using a tea towel, add them to the bowl. Tip in the red onion, garlic, gram flour and herbs (coriander, mint, basil – whatever you please) and add water until you have a batter of good dropping consistency. Season.
2. Heat a generous amount of oil -preferably tasteless – in a pan and take a scoop of the mixture in your hand (around 1 tbsp or so). Place gently into the oil, patting it down a little. Cook 2-3 at a time until each is golden brown and crisp on either side. Serve as suggested above.