On a damp cycle ride this week I was reminded that we are actually in the middle of summer when we stopped at a cafe for refreshments and I saw their courgette plant in full flower.
We refuelled with bacon butties and a slice of courgette and lime cake which just reiterated that the sun should have been warming the flowers instead of the rain dripping from the umbrella on to our heads.
Courgette plants are easy to grow and should now be full of the succulent vegetable, best eaten when small. If you allow them to get too big they become watery and have less flavour.
They come in many varieties from dark green to yellow, round or long and add vibrant colour to many dishes as long as they are cooked at the last minute. The flowers can also be eaten and I have had them fried with honey dressing and stuffed with minced pork.
Most people associate the courgette with ratatouille but it is a versatile vegetable that can be made into soup, added to quiche or pasta and used in salads as I’m doing in this recipe. Let’s hope the sun comes out so you can eat this dish in the garden while looking at your flowers.
Ingredients (serves four)
12 black olives
4 spring onions
1 clove garlic
Dessertspoon picked tarragon leaves
1. Slice the courgettes thinly lengthways.
2. Brush lightly with olive oil.
3. Griddle on a hot griddle pan for one minute each side and allow to cool.
4. Finely chop the garlic and slice the spring onions and mix together with the tarragon leaves.
5. Chop the olives.
6. Combine the griddled courgettes with the garlic, onion and olives. Season.
7. Slice the tomatoes and arrange on a plate. Top with the courgette mixture and serve.