So, i mentioned recipes for zucchini/courgettes in my last post, and since it is still technically courgette season, i should provide a relevant recipe or two, as i know you are all hanging out to find inspired ways to use your courgettes. I say 'technically' because i have not actually had a 'courgette season' this year - i grew 3 plants, and have had two courgettes and one marrow. The marrow grew while i was away for 16 days and husband Bill was tending the home fires. One sneaky courgette plant (the only one to actually produce any fruit) had lulled Bill into a false sense of security, due to its apparent lack of productivity, and he failed to check it on a regular basis, hence the marrow that greeted me from the confines of the fridge apon my return home. However I shall not hold this against Bill, as I'm sure we all know how easy it is to produce a marrow or three, even when checking your courgette plants on a regular basis.
I blame the weather on my failure to produce a glut of curcubits this season; the greengrocer in Amberley told me that all the courgettes he has been selling have been from the North Island, as South Island growers are having similar problems to me. That made me feel a lot better, as i had previously counted courgettes as one of my idiot-proof crops.
Happily for you, dear reader, i stopped of at the vege shop in Woodend the other day, and saw a bag of lovely large courgettes for $3 - cheap enough to entice me to purchase. I may have to go back for more, as it hasn't been summer until you are wondering what on earth to do with your next courgette.
Last night i made a recipe titled 'Cougette, Oregano & Almond Linguine'. It is hand-written in one of my notebooks, with no acknowledgement, so i can't tell you where it came from I'm afraid. Most likely a 'House and Garden' or some other magazine perused over coffee at Pukeko Junction. I've made a couple of minor alterations to the recipe - fresh oregano instead of dried (if you have the misfortune to only have dried oregano, be sure to use teaspoons, not tablespoons!), and the addition of lemon zest. I keep meaning to try it with walnuts instead of almonds, since i have a local, free supply of walnuts, and frequently substitute them for any nut a recipe requires. It is hard to go wrong with a walnut (so long as it is not rancid), and i'm sure they would go very nicely in this recipe.
I used freshly made pasta in this recipe (kindly made by my husband), but dried pasta would do equally well. It is one of those recipes that can be a bit stressful to create if you are making the pasta yourself, as you want the pasta to be ready at the same time as the veges, or the courgettes will over-cook and won't taste or look as good.
COURGETTE, OREGANO and ALMOND LINGUINE
2 large courgettes
3 tablespoons best quality extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, finely chopped
150g linguine or other ribbon pasta
3 tablespoons sliced almonds (or walnuts!), lightly toasted
Juice and zest of one large lemon
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
Cut the courgettes into long julienne or peel into long strips. Heat a frying pan, add half the oil and the garlic, and cook over a medium heat until the garlic is barely coloured. At the same time you should be cooking your pasta in a pot of boiling water, so it is ready at the same time as the vegetables. Add the courgettes and oregano to the garlic in the frypan and toss gently until the courgettes wilt (they should be a nice bright green).
Drain your pasta, and layer in a bowl with the courgette mix, the lemon zest and juice, the remaining oil, the nuts and the parmesan. Toss and serve immediately.