Courgettes (Zucchini if you are Italian or American) in Scotland are a bit unreliable but the warm weather this summer has really suited them. Expecting a poor crop, we planted 6 plants and now we are overwhelmed with yellow courgettes. Simple roast courgettes are really nice but more variety is needed so we’ve been looking for things to do with them.
3 courgettes, 1 onion, 3 celery sticks and 1 tin cherry tomatoes. Flavourings – 2 or 3 garlic cloves (finely chopped), olives, parsley, capers, wine vinegar, salt, pepper.
Chop courgettes into large chunks and fry in oil until lightly browned. Remove from pan then gently fry chopped onions and celery until soft. Put the courgettes back and add the flavourings – the quantities really are to taste – if you don’t like olives, it does no harm to leave them out. We use a couple of tbsps of vinegar – don’t leave this out or the capers. Cook till vinegar evaporates then add the tin of tomatoes and simmer gently for about 15 minutes.
This is nice on its own or as a vegetarian main course, served with gnocci – purists will make their own, we buy it from the supermarket.
About 1.5kg courgettes, 2 onions, tsp turmeric, tsp ground ginger, 2 tsp black poppy seeds, tsp chilli powder (or less if you don’t like it hot), bit of salt. 450g sugar and 600ml malt vinegar.
Peel the courgettes if you like – we don’t bother if they are small and the skins are soft but you do need to if they are monsters. Chop the onions. Put everything in a pan and cook until thick, stirring now and then. The original recipe also suggests cloves and peppercorns in a small muslin bag but I don’t actually know anyone who has such a thing. You can add other flavourings – I think cumin would be OK and we have sometimes added chopped coriander leaves if we have any. It’s fine to eat immediately but gets better if you leave it for a while. We found a jar at the back of a cupboard that must have been two years old and it was rich and succulent. But, normally, we leave it for a couple of months.