One crop that many kitchen gardeners struggle to keep up with is courgettes. This has been a fantastic year for courgettes in our garden, and the vegetables have featured in many of our meals – we've even baked them into cakes!
Our friends, family and neighbours have been helping out by taking some of the harvest off our hands, and we put a large bowl of the vegetables outside the house, with a sign inviting passers-by to help themselves.
Ratouille is a good way to use up lots of courgettes – and it can be made in bulk and frozen for future use. Fry onions and garlic until soft, then add diced courgettes, tinned chopped tomatoes and some mixed herbs, and simmer for 10 minutes. This versatile sauce can be used to top pasta, fill a jacket potato, or be layered into a lasagna. You can also add chilli and some kidney beans to ratatouille to make a vegetarian chilli sauce. Serve with rice, or spoon onto tortilla chips and top with grated cheese and guacamole for tasty nachos.
For a speedy supper snack, mix a tablespoon of plain flour with a tablespoon of grated parmesan and a twist of black pepper. Slice courgettes lengthwise and coat in the floury mixture, then fry in hot olive oil for a few minutes on each side until crispy. Delicious served with tzatziki and pitta bread.
Courgettes are also good roasted. Slice them thickly, toss in olive oil and bake in a hot oven for half an hour – great as a topping for pizza or a filling for quiche. Or to make tasty individual pies that are great for picnics and lunchboxes, place roasted courgettes and feta into puff pastry squares. Fold over at the corners to create triangles, seal the edges, brush with egg and bake for 20 minutes until golden.