A couple of courgettes turned up in the veg box this week. Although the days have been warm, borderline hot, recently the evenings are still cold reminding me that it’s firmly still spring. I’m certainly not complaining, I prefer spring in some ways; mostly that the heat (if any) is not muggy and there are many, many fewer insects. All the more enjoyable for al fresco dining I think you’ll agree; insects in summer mean I am forever swiping the air to deter a particularly determined fly or being chased round the garden by a wasp with a bad attitude. Not the epitome of glamour and demure that I aim for in every garden dining experience. But not to worry, ones absence from the dining table will hardly be noticed when a plate of these Olive and Fontina Baked Courgettes are served up.
You will need (for two big bowls or four smaller ones):
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 2 small carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 1 small courgette, diced
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 1 handful summer greens, shredded
- 1 handful broad beans, podded
- 1 handful fresh peas, podded
- 1 litre hot vegetable stock
- 90g small pasta
- Salt and pepper
Prepare the broad beans by adding the beans to a pan of lightly salted boiling water. Cook for 3-4 minutes before removing, running under cold water and then squeezing the beans out of their grey skins. Set aside.
Put a large pan on a low heat and add the olive oil, garlic, carrot, onion and courgette. Put a lid on and leave to soften for around 10 minutes.
Remove the lid and add the tomato, summer greens and peas then pour in the hot stock.
Bring to the boil then add the pasta and a little salt and pepper.
I can go into Sainsbury’s and pick up four chicken breasts for £6. Not the extra special ones, not the organic ones, just the standard ones. My alternative is to go to the farmer’s market and pick up two whole chickens for £10. These are free range chickens and I would still get four chicken breasts but I would also get four drumsticks, four wings, four thighs and two carcasses for making beautiful stock with. It’s a no brainer really.
So as I am inundated with thousands upon thousands of broad beans and courgettes, instead of becoming the next Alan Sugar and make millions selling my prides and joys, I decided I shall eat them myself and share them around. I say thousands but I mean more than I hoped for.
One of the meals we had entailed both broad beans and courgettes. I wish my tomatoes were ready but they are stubbornly green. As per usual with these lovely beans they needed to be extracted, boiled and popped out.
After this inevitable ritual common sense prevails on the hummus making front. I put my little gems in my mini blitzer, a good squidge of lemon juice, some fresh mint and some seasoning. Blitz. Then, drizzled smidgen by smidgen, some tasty extra virgin olive oil until the texture is what you see fit as appropriate. Blitzing away all the while. Noisy yes. Worth it? Absolutely.