If you follow any of my other social media feeds, you can’t fail to notice that we’ve been consuming a lot of courgettes. Our two plants (one per person, based on advice I read online) having been pumping out the summer squashes and we can’t blink without another flower appearing. So far we haven’t got sick of them; this whole vegetable growing lark is still new and novel to me!

This recipe was initially going to be a courgette carbonara but I then thought I’d rather like to chuck in quite a bit of garlic and some chilli too. And I forgot I had some thyme outside and I reckon it would be quite good with that too. Apart from being quite tasty, it had the added benefit of coming together in about 15 minutes, perfect for a weeknight dinner.

Eggy Courgette Pasta

Courgette and Egg Spaghetti
serves 3 or 2 with leftovers for a lunch.

about 250-300g dried spaghetti
olive oil
3 small-medium courgettes
2 large cloves of garlic, fined minced
a couple of large pinches of dried chilli flakes
4 medium (or 3 large) eggs
about 30g of pecorino romano, finely grated
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Set of pot of water to boil. Salt it well and set the spaghetti to boil.

In a large saute pan, heat some olive oil over medium-low heat and add the minced garlic and chilli flakes. Let sizzle gently for a minute – you don’t want it to colour. Meanwhile, trim and grate the courgettes and then add all the gratings to the pan. Turn up the heat to medium and cook, stirring often.

In a bowl, beat together the eggs and pecorino with salt and lots of black pepper.

By the time the spaghetti has finished cooking, the courgette should be done. Turn off the heat for the courgettes in the sauté pan and add the drained spaghetti. Working quickly, pour over the eggs and then mix altogether well to get a creamy sauce. Serve.

It was a salad we had in Molovos on which I’m basing this salad. I never thought I’d so utterly fall in love with a raw courgette salad with a scattering of nuts and cheese. The summer squashes do need to be very thinly sliced though and it was the perfect time for me to pull out my newly acquired mandoline.

Courgette Salad

Mmm… it’s healthy but sure doesn’t taste that way – all that sharp cheese and earthy nuts and fresh mint go very well with the slightly bland, slightly green-in-flavour raw courgette. I do believe there are still some courgettes in the markets so get them while you can to make this salad!

Courgette Salad

A Raw Courgette Salad

Thinly slice a courgette and arrange the slices onto a plate (you’ll probably have more than one layer). Chop a few walnuts and crumble a chunk of feta and scatter on top. Slice a few mint leaves finely and also arrange those on top. Sprinkle with salt, squeeze over some lemon juice and drizzle on a good amount of extra virgin olive oil. Eat!

Got a glut of courgettes? I don’t even grow them but find myself buying lots as they’re so cheap right now at the farmers markets. While we do enjoy all the fritters and stir fries we make, I’m still always on the lookout for other ways to use this summer squash. When I saw this recipe on A Taste of Home Cooking, I knew it sounded like a winner.

Rounds of courgette are coated in panko crumbs, baking up extra crispy on the outside and tender and almost juicy on the inside; strangely, when baked like this, the flavour of courgette is not very pronounced, making it a good way to convert courgette haters. They’re also very light (and healthy) as very little oil is used. We liked them just as they are though I imagine an aioli would also be nice for dipping.

Oven Fried Courgette Rounds

Oven Fried Courgette Rounds
serves 2 as a side.

2 courgettes
1/2 cup plain flour
salt and black pepper
2 eggs
panko crumbs
a little sunflower oil

Slice the courgettes into rounds just shy of 1cm thickness. Place then in a colander, sprinkle with salt and toss together and then leave for 30 minutes. After that time, rinse them and dry the slices with some kitchen paper.

Preheat your oven to 180 Celsius.

Place the flour in a bowl and season it very well. In another bowl, beat the eggs together with a little water. Finally in a third bowl or plate, place the panko crumbs.

Line a baking tray with foil and brush with a little oil. Dredge each courgette round in the flour, then dip into the egg and then finally coat in panko crumbs. Lay onto the baking tray in a single layer. Place in the centre of your oven and bake for 20 minutes (turning the rounds once) until the panko crumbs are golden brown. Serve.

I like a good fritter; if it’s fried, there’s a good chance that I will like it. However, at home, I’d much rather shallow fry then deep fry, now that I’m especially conscious that food blogging is not generally conducive to a slim figure. And if the fried stuff can increase my veggie intake too, then all the better.

Courgette and Cheese Fritters

I bought a couple of giant courgettes at the local market one weekend and was looking to use them as a main ingredient for a light supper for the two of us. Fritters it was going to be, especially after I found this recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi, one that is used at his latest restaurant Nopi. His were spiced but I decided to leave mine more plain. The two courgettes served the two of us for two meals, giving me a chance to perfect their frying – a medium high frying temperature results in fritters with crisp outsides.

These make a nice brunch or light supper for two when paired with bacon and some salad, or as part of a larger meal for four. Feel free to switch the cheese around – the original recipe used manouri but I imagine that a nice feta would work too – or even leave the cheese out. I served them with a Greek yogurt with salt and piment d’Espelette but they’re also good with a chilli sauce.

Courgette Fritters with Bacon

Courgette and Cheese Fritters
adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe.
serves 2.

1 large courgette (or two small-medium ones)
1 shallot, finely diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 heaped tbsps plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
about 40-50g Grana Padano, roughly chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsps olive oil

Grate the courgette into a large bowl, sprinkle with salt, toss to mix and then leave for about 10 minutes.

After the time has elapsed, grab handfuls of the grated courgette and squeeze over a sink to remove as much water as possible. To the now significantly drier grated courgette, add the diced shallot, crushed garlic, flour, baking powder and egg and stir well to combine. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and add the cheese and stir again to mix through.

Heat a frying pan over medium heat, pour in the olive oil and heat until the oil is slightly shimmering. Place heaped tablespoons of the courgette mixture into the hot pan, flattening them to about 1 cm thickness with the back of the spoon. You should be able to get 3-4 fritters in your pan (assuming it’s a 10 inch frying pan) comfortably. Flip when the bottoms are golden brown and continue frying on the other side. Drain on kitchen paper when fully cooked. Continue frying the rest of the mixture – you shouldn’t need to add any more oil.

This should make about 8 fritters in total.