21 August 2017

Courgettes

Let me begin with some clarification. Americans and indeed some other societies have a different name for the humble courgette. They call it zucchini.

Earlier on this year, I planted five courgette plants up in our vegetable plot. As usual, these plants are thriving. For some reason they appear to like our soil. I might not have much luck with carrots and certain potato varieties but I don't have to try with courgettes.

Ideally you want to pick courgettes when they are young, like this little fellow:-

Apart from anything else, such picking allows new plants to fruit. When young courgettes, can be used in various dishes as I am sure the culinary gurus who visit this blog will agree.

When growing courgettes, you should watch out because in the height of the growing season a small courgette can easily grow too big, like this handsome chap:-

At this size the courgette is still useful in the kitchen though the skin will be less tender.

Because of unsettled weather and a couple of trips away, I somehow missed the following monster courgette, growing under the foliage. I shall call him Led Zeppelin. He weighs as much as a cannonball.Apart from firing him into next door's garden, I wonder what else I could do with him. Any suggestions?

53 comments:

  1. My sister grew them, zucchinis as we call them here, and her family were almost buried under the quantity of zucchinis the plant produced. Absolutely everyone she knew received large quantities of them.

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    1. Your sister must have green fingers. What colour are yours Andrew?

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  2. When you let your zucchini grow to giant size you rename it marrow!
    We put it in ratatouille, bolognese, lasagna, curries and stir fries.

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    1. In English garden centres you can buy courgette seeds and you can buy marrow seeds. They are different. A proper marrow is much nicer to eat than an inflated courgette.

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    2. How do you cook marrow?

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    3. The best way is to stuff it and roast it slowly. You can stuff it with various fillings - vegetarian of meat-based. A fair bit of work but worth it in the end.

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    4. I'm with YP on this one. I roasted a stuffed marrow for my brother and his wife last week: absolutely yumcious.

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    5. Yumcious? You sound a bit like that other son of Liverpool - Ken Dodd!

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  3. It's great when used in a curry.

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    1. I don't think we have a pan big enough for Led Zeppelin. We could feed a rugby team with it.

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  4. A suggestion as what to do with Led Zeppelin? Don't tempt me!

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    1. Ian stole my answer.

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    2. You may need to apply goose fat quite liberally.

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    3. LOL -- I wasn't going to take that bait.

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  5. You can make zucchini rum in exactly the same way as marrow rum.

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    1. You are a rum fellow Mr Heron>

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  6. Make zucchini pickles.

    Alphie

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  7. Slice it in half, hollow it (not completely) and fill the hollow with minced meat, herbs and spices; bake this in the oven, and 10 minutes before it is done, add some grated cheese to the top.
    Or cut it in slices about as thick as a finger, dust them lightly with flour, turn them in a large deep plate containing raw egg beaten with a fork (you can add herbs and spices to the egg, or leave that until later), turn the slices in breadcrumbs next or another layer of flour, and fry in good amount of olive oil in a pan.

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    1. That sounds a nice idea. I think I'll try it. We just need to invite half a dozen extra people round for dinner given the size of the thing.

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  8. Chickens love to eat them! :)

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    1. Christ! You must have some bloody big chickens Christina!

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    2. Haha. Yes. I have only one nowadays but she is almost 7 so they must be doing her good. She still lays an egg now and again!

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    3. What's her name? I think Theresa is a good name for a chicken.

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    4. Lizzie chicken. She is so friendly and best of all she eats slugs.

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  9. The only place for a giant courgette, monster zucchini or marrow is on top of the compost heap.

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    1. On top of the compost heap? Passers by might think that The Jolly Green Giant is sleeping beneath.

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  10. The larger one would be lovely scooped out, filled with savoury mince, tied together and roasted in the oven.
    Brioony
    x

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    1. I have two of them now Briony. Shall I post one of them to you? Should only be about £20 by Royal Mail.

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  11. When they get big they're called marrow, right? I think you can still eat them but I'm not sure. I first learned about "courgettes" when I moved to Morocco -- I thought the word was used there because it's French. Imagine my surprise when I found it's used in England, too! Wonder why we call it zucchini but you don't?

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    1. Oh, I see above that you already said marrow is different. That's news to me!

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    2. As a result of the large wave of Italian immigration to the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Italian and Sicilian were once widely spoken in much of the U.S.. French influence was minimal in comparison at this time. Hence, the Italian term was adopted rather than the French term that was adopted in Britain. Interestingly, this family of vegetables originated in South America!

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  12. Have a look at the blog "Living the life in Saint-Aignan". The writer is over whelmed with courgettes and had posted quite a few recipes, with pictures!

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    1. Thanks for that tip CG. I'll go there later.

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  13. If you kept a few hens you could just split it in half lengthwise and they would make it disappear.

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    1. Then I read back to the top and discovered someone already suggested this. Living next to the corn stand, my hens regularly chomp through damaged squash, watermelons, fruit, and fresh corn. They also catch and eat mice, small snakes, and each other if you're not careful.

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    2. They eat mice and snakes? Hell - you have got some mean hens Jan. If you send me the postage I'll have my monster courgette mailed to you. Thirty bucks should cover it.

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  14. Wow, that's almost marrow size. My mother used to cook a lovely stuffed marrow using bacon, onions, sage and breadcrumbs as a filling. Bake in the ovenfor about half an hour, serve with potatoes, veg and gravy. Scrumyrumptious.

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    1. Scrumyrumptious? I thought that was a band like ShowaddywADDY. That stuffing sounds great.

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  15. I cannot grow such plants in my greenhouse. Which is the only place that I can grow anything. The leaves are so big that I would not be able to have anything else in that 8'X10' space. I have tried to grow them in a little space at the back of the house, but as soon as they get a few inches long, the rabbits and chipmunks have at them! I do so enjoy the male flowers of any kind of squash, tho. Stuffed with a little spicy meat and cheese and fried quickly. Yum!

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    1. Hello again Donna. When growing things we can eat we must all adjust to the environments we find ourselves in. Not everything will be successful. I can't grow bananas here or peanuts or pineapples...

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  16. No one has mentioned zucchini bread, zucchini muffins, zucchini brownies, zucchini chocolate cake, or zucchini soup! Get thee to Google, YP - you'll find more recipes than you can shake a zucchini at!

    The only good zucchini is a very small, tender one, in my opinion, and as you noted. My father used to see how big he could get them to grow ... he felt it was a waste to pick them small ...

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    1. Don't you mean courgette bread, courgette muffins etc.? I am surprised that Canada didn't adopt the French term given your nation's close connections with France. President Trudeau should tweet a decree - "No more zucchini! From now on it's courgette!"

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  17. Courgettes are called "zucchinis" here in Australia.

    With the large zucchini - (I've not the time at present to ready the responses from other readers, so I may be repeating a suggestion) - cut it in half, scoop out some of the flesh. Add the flesh to a suitable stuffing mixture...stuff each half...and bake in the oven.

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    1. How come Australia opted for the term favoured in North America? Perhaps it's because you had a significant influx of Italian immigrants and far fewer French immigrants.

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    2. Probably from the influx of Italians, Yorkie. Many settled in this country. And many settled in the northern areas of Queensland...to work the cane fields.

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    3. Re what to do with the larger vegetable...you could get a spiralizer and turn them into "spaghetti"...or, cut them into approx 1-inch/2cm rounds and sautee in garlic butter (you could add a sprinkle of herbs of choice, if desired).

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  18. I'm with Jenny-0 on this one...Pineapple Zucchini bread is the only way I'd touch a BIG zucchini..and that one is too big. Toss it on the compost or hollow it out and take the wife on a lovely canoe ride in it. Or, you could add wheels and have go-cart races.

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    1. Ha-ha! I like the canoe idea. In fact when I woke up this morning I was thinking just the same thing!

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  19. Yes, I love zucchini. I don't grow them as they take up too much space in my garden. Not to worry. My neighbors grow them and have to give lots away.

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    1. Scrounging off one's neighbours is not a good trait. What do you give them apart from grief?

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  20. As well as the spiralizer and sauteeing as I mentioned above, you could also cut the large zucchini into pieces of approx 4 or 5 inches in length...and about 1 to 1-1/2 inches wide....roll them in flour, dip into an egg wash, then coat with panko breadcrumbs (with grated parmesan and perhaps some Italian herbs)....then lay them on a baking paper lined oven tray...spray with olive oil spray...and cook in the oven until golden.

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    1. Meike mentioned a similar process. I will try it. Thanks.... even though I have no idea what panko breadcrumbs are!

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