By Louise Oliver
This hazy, gloriously sunny summer has filled not only the sky but the garden with many delicious and eye catching delights- with the flower of the courgette plant a beauty to behold. These delicate, young fruits marry perfectly with the heat of the summer sun. Simple cooking is all that is required and a much needed refreshing taste is delivered- well they are 90% water. Whilst the courgette does not pack big flavours, its cooling, confrontation free flavours are well suited.
The sunny trumpet shaped flower seems to appear in the dawn and by the following day its fresh delicate soft blossom is ripe for picking- if left any longer its energy levels seems to fade and quickly wither. Another great reason to grow your own vegetables, as there are not many flowers afoot in veg boxes.
The flower is easily prepared -have a quick look for insects, remove the stamen and hey presto an edible delicacy awaits. Try frying alongside the attached courgette for a mere 5-6 minutes, until the flowers take on a slightly darker orange colour. A summery catch of crab is a delicious stuffing in this spicy crab courgette flower dish
Fear not if yours are flower free, a courgette with a shiny skin and barely visible seeds signals a creamy and slightly nutty flavour awaits. If eaten as soon as picked this flavour is enhanced even further, but if necessary they will happily store in the fridge for a week.
The captivating charm of the courgette lies in its simplicity, and when pairing with other flavours think refreshing and citrus notes of lime, lemon, and the freshness of mint, basil and dill alongside crumbly cheeses such as feta.
On sunny hot days when a carbohydrate heavy meal is not the most refreshing, courgettes -sliced thinly -are a fantastic alternative to pasta and noodles. Whilst some equipment savvy folk may have a spiraliser, a mandolin, or a Julienne peeler, a bog standard grater will do the trick too. Gently sauté and add your favourite pasta accompaniments in this Courgette spaghetti dish.
In this Courgette Wrap, thin slices are cut and wrapped around a crunchy salad of hummus and carrots. The peel is edible and provides a delicious crunch and sweet texture in this gluten free and low carbohydrate dish.
So, sit back in the soothing shade and savour the simplistic taste of summer in the small and beautiful courgette and perhaps think of planting a few seeds next year.
Here are our Courgette Recipe ideas for July – now in our regular fortnightly recipe sheet The Charming Courgette or from ISSUU below: