Courgette Two

The sounds of a productive garden in summer, the buzzing of bees, the tweets of birds and the groaning of the courgette plants under the weight of their fruit… the last one may be exaggerated but not by much! The garden has been going crazy with all the sunshine and thankfully now the odd downpour. Nothing has appreciated this weather more than the courgettes which have gone from zero to more than you can possibly eat in the space of a fortnight. We have four plants and I picked 6 courgettes off of them on Monday. Having already picked two over the weekend and more will be ready for the weekend. Added to this I rather stupidly have not reduced our local veg box scheme so guess what came in there!

Needless to say I was racking my brains for an idea of how to use so many at once because as much as I love griddling them for salads there are only so many I can eat that way! So I started thinking about the best meals I’ve eaten with courgettes and it came to me – at an amazing restaurant in Istanbul called Lokanta Maya we had the most incredible courgette fritters. Luckily the dish is so popular the recipe is written on a mirror on the wall of the restaurant. I recreated them with a few tweaks and I think they went down well – Joel described them as tasting “a little bit naughty” which I think is a good thing.

Courgette Fritters

  • 1kg courgettes (4 medium)
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 100g whole meal flour
  • 100g plain white flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 100ml milk
  • 1 handful flat leaf parsley
  • 4 spring onions
  • 150g feta
  • 300ml vegetable oil for frying
  • Greek yoghurt to serveGrate the courgettes and place in a colander over a bowl, mix with 1 tbsp salt and leave for 30 mins then squeeze our all the liquid you can.

If you wish to keep each batch warm and serve together pre heat the oven to a low warming temperate – about 75 degrees and pop a baking tray in the oven.

Finely chop both the parsley and spring onions and add to the courgette.

In a large bowl combine the flour, eggs milk and pepper  then whisk until a smooth batter.

Crumble the feta and mix through the batter.

In a large frying pan pour in enough oil to create a 1cm deep layer of oil and heat over a medium to high flame. Once the oil is hot (test with a tiny drop of the mixture, it should bubble and sizzle as soon as it hits the pan if it’s ready).

Carefully and in small batches add 1 tbsp of the mixture to the pan, fry for about a minute and a half before turning over and frying for a further minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and turn into kitchen roll or if like me you have a tray over a plate.

One the batch are ready to be removed from the pan transfer the resting ones to the oven.

Serve with some Greek yogurt and/or a squeeze of lemon juice. Great as a snack, starter or side.

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Runner Bean

So things have been very quiet on the blog for a few months, there has been a lot going on for me in the real world, Joel and I have bought and moved into our own house, we got married on a gorgeous sunny day surrounded by all our friends and family, Joel had a nasty bicycle vs car accident, which thankfully he has now recovered from.

We are spending time working on the house, making it ours and I have so many plans for the garden. Although with everything going on this summer the furthest I got with growing veggies was popping in the runner beans Joel’s parents gave us, and my usual salad leaves and herbs. Considering I literally stuck the small runner bean plants in the ground and stretched some string across the fence for support the runner bean plants did amazingly well, we have had a more beans than we could eat since the start of July. They are now coming to an end, the big chunky ones I have left on the plant till they dry out and I can harvest the beans to plant next year, the rest of them I have turned into chutney.

Our family friends Jenny and Peter make this chutney every year and it is always delicious – just the right balance of sweet and tangy so of course I had to get the recipe from them to make with my last batch of beans from the garden. The recipe came from the queen of reliable recipes – Delia, I should have known.

Spiced Pickled Runner Beans

Adapted from Delia’s recipe

  • 900g of Runner Beans – trimmed and sliced
  • 700g Onions – finely chopped
  • 850ml Malt Vinegar
  • 40g Cornflour
  • 1 tbsp Mustard Powder
  • 1 tbsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 675g Demerara Sugar

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Add the chopped onions and 300mls of the vinegar to a large pan and simmer until softened – around 20 mins.

Boil the sliced beans in a separate pan – Delia suggests 5 mins but I cooked mine for 10 due to now being a little tough, drain and add to the onion and vinegar mixture.

Mix the spices and corn flour with a little of the remaining vinegar to make a paste then add to the onion mix along with the rest of the vinegar.

Simmer for 10 mins, then add the sugar and simmer for a further 15 mins.

Pot the pickle into warm sterilized jars and leave to mature for at least a month.

Also here is a few pictures of our adventures over the past few months I’ve been away from the blog.

 

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