a typical haul from the Cappamore class garden including some giant courgettes
Yesterday my boss surprised us all by bringing in a pot of courgette, potato and onion soup. It was delicious and it got me thinking about why I don’t make soup from courgettes. Isin’t it the obvious thing to do? There are loads and loads of them; hanging off the plants, piling up in the fridge, looking at you wide eyed just begging to be eaten. I sat in the lunch room eating away and mulling over this mystery-why had I abandoned the idea of making courgette soup?
Later in the afternoon on a visit to Tara, Martin and Nick (not forgetting dogs Jack, Captain and Pepper) an uneasy feeling came over me, a feeling of something familiar and a rising sense of dread. Halfway through my first cup of tea with Tara I realised I was full of courgette wind and that it wanted to be released!! I spent my visit discreetly trumping all over the garden, trying to ignore the magnificent noises coming from the escaping courgette gas, they do make an incredibly loud sound! as I remembered EXACTLY why courgette soup is off the menu.Be warned all ye who make soup with courgettes!!
There are other ways to eat courgettes that don’t involve loud embarrassing noises a few hours later and abolishment from all social circles.Roasted courgettes won’t embarrass you, neither will stir fried or stewed (lightly), but the number one way to use a courgette, especially if it has gotten a bit on the large side is definitely as courgettini.
I do like kitchen gadgets but I’m not into faddy stuff that lasts a year and is gone (my husband might dispute this pointing to the wheat grass hand juicer sitting idly at the back of the press).Last year I heard about these gadgets that make pasta-like strips from vegetables which you then cook lightly instead of pasta. I can’t eat pasta, and the gluten free versions are mostly inedible anyway so this seemed like a great idea to me.Except for one thing. Holy smoke! the price tag. I went around the shops poking at these “yokes” with extraordinary prices that seemed to start at €40 and go up.Yes that’s not a typing error; FORTY flaming EUROS.
So I put it to the back of my mind and soldiered on liking the idea very much but refusing to pay the money involved. Then lo-and-behold last December my dear brother brought me the very gadget in a nice small compact form as a Christmas present. There were two great things about this gift; first my mother caps us all to spending only €20 on presents so he assured me it was cheap and cheerful and secondly its a doddle to use, clean and store. My wildly enthusiastic reaction to this gave great amusement to everyone but who is laughing now eh? Ha! with this courgettini maker I am queen of the courgettes.
Being the ruler of the courgette crop is now very easy. A delicious pasta sauce is made, a pot of water is boiled, the courgette(or two; its quite surprising how much you can consume as courgettini) is twisted through the gadget, courgettini come out the other end, they are dropped into the boiling water where they cook in under 1 minute, they are drained, tossed in olive oil or butter and put on the plate with the pasta sauce, (where might I add their fresh green/yellow colouring looks stunning against the sauce). They also taste delicious, are very good for you, and in this incarnation at least they don’t make you fart.Surely this is the best way ever to cook courgettes?
Dace and Joe were here a few weeks ago passing through on their way home from holidays. Dace, the most practical person on the planet, was introduced to the courgettini maker and given the task of making enough courgettini for herself, myself and Joe from some overlarge courgettes that were in truth heading for marrows.She was completely enamored with the resulting “pasta”, as was Joe, Seamus is too suspicious by nature to eat any odd stuff I produce unless enough people have tasted and lived through it first.The result was Joe ringing me next day to ask where could he get the gadget as they have lots of courgettes and want to make more courgettini!!
So now, far be it for me to act as a sales person but if after reading this you too are bitten by the courgettini bug I happen to have seen a version of my gadget (mine is from the USA probably via China) in Tesco’s where they keep the JML stuff. I have no idea if its as good as mine but at around €14 its a safe enough gamble.I think this is it; veggie spiralizer .One small word of warning!! I cut myself numerous times on the extremely sharp blades before I got sense and was more careful washing and handling it. Be careful!!
And finally. Despite a lot of reading up on courgettes, there seems to be no single consensus on the best ones to grow for taste. If you are after the stripy mediterranean one that everyone thinks of as a courgette and has great flavour then really you cant go wrong with “cocozelle”. But having said that I really think since so much of the courgette is made up of water that flavour is only excellent when the right mix of trase elements are in the soil. Only good home made compost will really do that for the soil and the plant that grows in it.