As courgettes are so readily available this month here are two recipes.
PUREE OF GRILLED COURGETTES WITH GOAT’S CHEESE AND HAZELNUTS
This recipe is for a starter but it would make a light lunch.
675g/ 1½ lbs similar sized courgettes
a little olive oil
40g / 1½ oz butter
¼ nutmeg, grated
75g / 3oz goat’s cheese log
40g / 1½ oz chopped hazelnuts
salt and pepper
Top and tail the courgettes, cut them in half lengthways and smear oil all over. Heat the grill high and grill the courgettes on both sides until blackened in places. Then put them in a food processor with the butter, grated nutmeg and some salt and pepper. Whizz until smooth and scrape into a gratin dish.
Crumble the goat’s cheese into small pieces and sprinkle over the puree. Scatter on the hazelnuts, drizzle over a little oil and put under a hot grill until the cheese is bubbling. The dish can be kept warm in a low oven for up to half an hour.
Tips – Grilling the courgettes instead of steaming them dries them out a bit and also adds a pleasant smoky taste. Serve with crusty bread.
FLORA’S FAMOUS COURGETTE CAKE
For the cake:
60g / 2 oz raisins, optional
250g / 9 oz courgettes (2 – 3) weighed before grating
2 large eggs
125ml / 4½ fl oz vegetable oil
150g / 5½ oz caster sugar
225g / 8 oz self raising flour
½ tsp. bicarb of soda and ½ tsp. baking powder
For the icing:
200g / 8 oz cream cheese
100g / 4 oz icing sugar, sieved
juice of 1 lime or more to taste
2 – 3 tbsps. chopped pistachio nuts
For the filling:
Lime or lemon curd
Preheat oven to 180C / gas mark 4. Line 2 x 21cm / 9 inch sandwich tins and grease.
If you are using raisins put them in a bowl and cover with warm water to plump up. Wipe the courgettes with a kitchen towel and grate. The coarse side of a box grater is best. Put them in a sieve over the sink to remove excess water.
Put the eggs, oil and sugar in a bowl and beat until creamy. Sieve in the flour, bicarb and baking powder and beat until combined. Stir in the courgettes and add the drained raisins. Pour into the tins and bake for 30 minutes. Leave in their tins for 5 – 10 minutes then turn out and cool on a rack.
If you cannot buy lime curd a good lemon will do with a little freshly squeezed lime juice added. Beat the cream cheese until smooth, add the icing sugar and beat and stir in the lime juice to taste. Put one cake on a plate and spread with the lime or lemon curd. Put the other cake on top and smear thickly with the cream cheese icing. If you feel the icing needs firming up put in the fridge for a while.
Just before serving scatter over the pistachios. Serves 8.