News and views from north Bristol's urban village

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Courgettes: the Answer to Everything

Different types of zucchuniImage via Wikipedia

My initial introduction to the humble courgette was not a positive one.

Presented as an over-cooked, soggy item, stuffed with other over-cooked oily vegetables, the courgette was, when I first met it, assigned a place on the only-eat-if-desperate list of foodstuffs.

All that has changed this summer as the Trym household have harvested their first crop of the dark green vegetable and have discovered that it is not only as versatile as the potato, but is quite likely to be the answer to world peace as well.

Part of the squash family, and therefore originally from North America, the courgettes (or zucchini as the Americans and Australians call them) sold in shops are typically around 8 inches long. Readers can only imagine my surprise, therefore, when the Trym vegetable patch starting producing monster courgettes between two and three feet in length.

These marrow-sized squashes (courgettes are technically a fruit, for reasons I don't fully understand) are a wonder to behold and at times the Trym kitchen has resembled the scene from Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were Rabbit where the villagers are holding their over-size vegetable competition.

I appreciate the efficiency of the courgette. With the exception of the small external stalk, the entire thing can be eaten. No pips to remove, no core, no skin to peel off. 100% pure nourishment.

Not only do the courgettes seem to like Westbury on Trym's limestone soil, the finished product can be used in a wide range of meals from soups to casseroles, meat, lasagna and pasta dishes, as well as stuffed and baked or as a side dish in their own right. 

Last week I made and froze a lake of spicy courgette soup that will keep the household fed through the winter. The recipe is here, should you be so inclined.

One word of warning: the plants themselves grow to a huge size. The mature plant reminds me of the pods placed in suburban gardens by the aliens in the film Invasion of the Body Snatchers (I refer of course to the 1978 remake starring Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams and Leonard Nimroy).

Cinematographic comparisons not withstanding, the courgette is a marvelous plant and should be planted and consumed by all those seeking a sustainable and tasty future.

Thank you. 



If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email or RSS.
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Site Meter