Tag Archives: courgettes

courgette and pasta bake

courgettes

We make this recipe (or a variation on it) fairly often, and it involves far too long standing over the cooker in a cold kitchen (the hole in the wall is being mended tomorrow – hurrah!). So in the interests of experimentation, I thought I’d have a bash at doing the sauce in the little slow cooker.

I diced onion, crushed garlic and chopped courgettes, and put them in the slow cooker with a glug of olive oil, and another of red wine. Left them on low for a couple of hours, then added a tin of chopped tomatoes, salt, pepper, and chilli flakes, then left it for another couple of hours And it was really nice,  but I should have turned it up to high for the last hour, I think, just to get the last of the slightly raw tomato taste to it (I cannot abide raw tomatoes).

Did the pasta on the hob as usual, then dumped the lot in the small Remoska, and dotted it with mozzarella and basil leaves.

Worth mentioning that courgettes are lovely veg – dice them up small and include in soup or casseroles, cut them into strips for a nice stir fry, bung them in roast veg …

a sort of chickpea fusion stew

[Apologies: I really meant to take a photo of this, but now we’ve scoffed most of it]

As I’ve written before, I love pulses. I try to use dried ones, because they’re so much cheaper, and they cook up beautifully in the slow cooker, without filling the kitchen with steam or having to be watched in case they boil over. You just have to be organised enough to put them in to soak, which I actually managed this week.

So, in they went for a soaking on Monday afternoon, and on Tuesday lunchtime I put them in the slow cooker, with a change of water. Then I forgot to turn them off again until we got back from the pub, but they had come to no harm.

On Wednesday, I chopped up the last of the agéd chorizo – so useful if you’re in a hurry: instant paprika and garlic! I put that to fry off in my huge cast iron casserole, with a little olive oil, and then hurled in two chopped aubergines, two chopped courgettes, and two roughly chopped red onions. Put it on low, and left it for a bit for the veg to cook down.

Remembered there was a tub of tomato and red wine sauce in the freezer, so liberated it and dunked it in a washing up bowl of cold water. After a bit, it slid out of its plastic tub and I dumped it in on top of the veg to continue thawing. About twenty minutes later, I added some chopped herbs, and Quite A Lot of chickpeas (I do tend to overestimate these things). Stirred it all round, added a splash of water and some salt and pepper, and left it for half an hour.

We snarfed huge bowlfuls for supper last night (with nothing else, it didn’t need it), and then we had slightly less huge bowlfuls for lunch today. And there’s enough left to – oh, I don’t know – possibly eat with a pitta or somesuch. I’ll work something out.

p.s. That tomato/wine sauce is a winner. I’m going to make more of that.

courgette stir fry

courgettesOne courgette, cut into batons, and three spring onions, finely sliced. Lots of garlic and ginger, chopped finely. Some dried chilli flakes. Stir fried together, then a slosh of soy, slosh of rice wine.

Eaten with rice, out of bowls (I seem to eat less if it’s in a bowl, lord knows why).

Malayasian-ish veg curry

We had a meal in the local Malaysian restaurant last week, and it was utterly delicious, so I thought I’d have a bash at creating my own. I didn’t bother looking up recipes – it’s more fun to try to recreate a dish, in my opinion.

In the fridge veg drawers was a load of stuff that really needed eating up, so I chopped up:

  • 2 courgettes
  • 1 aubergine
  • 1 leek
  • a bunch of lovely sweet carrots from my sister-in-law’s garden
  • half a yellow pepper
  • a butternut squash that was actually starting to go mouldy – oh the shame …

These were all hurled into the slow cooker. Then I fried off finely chopped garlic and ginger, and a chopped onion. Into the frying pan went a tin of chopped tonatoes, two dessert spoonfuls of smooth peanut butter (I think this might have been too much), some tamarind paste, cumin, coriander, allspice and cinnamon, black pepper.  Cooked the sauce down a bit, then left it to cool.

This morning, I heated it up again, then lobbed it on top of the veg and switched the slow cooker on while we were out for the day at Driffield County Show (cracking day out!).  There is a Smell from the kitchen, and I’m just about to put some rice on to accompany it for our supper.

another lentil moussaka

supper - lentil and courgette moussaka

We’re struggling a bit to keep up with the veg at the moment – really, we need a box two weeks out of three, but Abel and Cole had a special offer when we joined, and there’s a £50 voucher at the end of our first four weeks,  so we must keep going; this week is the fourth, so we can take a breather!

Things are so dire that I took a leek, two courgettes and a load of carrots yesterday, and hurled them in the slow cooker with some veg stock and barley, to make soup, so a heatwave will be approaching as I type.

We had a real courgette glut, so I decided to do a take on moussaka.  We had some lentils cooked with Moroccan spices in the freezer, so I removed that.  Sliced up two courgettes quite thinly, put them on a tray and doused them liberally with olive oil, then baked at gas mark 7 for about 25 minutes, turning them half way through.

Made some bechamel sauce, then layered lentils / courgettes / white sauce twice.  We have a hugely prolific basil plant on the kitchen windowsill at the moment, so I picked a whole load of leaves from that and scattered them over the top, then added cubes of feta.

25 minutes at Gas 6.  Lovely.

Followed it with a bramble crumble with fruit from the garden – nothing like your own produce, even if it is growing wild!  We have 3 lbs in the freezer too, this year, which will give us bramble Stuff through the winter.

a sort of moussaka

There is a glut of courgettes in the fridge; we normally do a sort of pasta bake with tomatoes, basil and mozzarella, or stir fry them, but I caught a glimpse of some cookery programme the other day where somebody was making a moussaka with courgettes instead of aubergine, and so I thought I’d give it a try.

There was a tub of lamb/lentil moussaka lentil mix in the freezer, which was nice – we’ve just done three days on the trot working till seven, and the last thing I want to do at that hour of the night is to construct moussaka from scratch!  Padding out moussaka or spag bol – or any other mince based dish – with lentils makes it go a lot further, thus aiding the budget, and we like the texture too.

I sliced up three courgettes – this isn’t helpful, really, as they were all different sizes, but do some. I cut them in rounds, about 1cm thick.  Then I tossed them in a bowl with plenty of olive oil, put them on a baking tray, and cooked them at 210˚ for about 20 minutes.  While that was going on, I made a white sauce with some nutmeg in it.

Then I heated up the lentil/lamb mix in the microwave for a couple of minutes, to get everything kick started.  Layered a dish with moussaka / courgettes/white sauce / moussaka / courgettes / white sauce, topping with grated mozzarella.  We have a thriving basil plant on the kitchen window sill right now, so I scattered a load of basil leaves after the first layer of white sauce.

Baked at 180˚ for about 25 minutes.  It worked really well, and I’ll be doing that again.