It’s that time of year when the world divides into two sorts of people. Either, you’re a beleaguered courgette grower, unable to pick them fast enough and foisting armfuls of them on anyone who stands still for long enough. Or, you are courgette recipient. You who made the fatal error of expressing even a tentative interest in anything remotely vegetable and now find yourself reluctantly clutching a marrow and feigning gratitude whilst in fact wondering what on earth you’re going to do with it. Yes, the courgette glut is here and I think you can guess which camp I fall into.

It’s virtually impossible to grow courgettes without getting a glut. They grow easily, quickly and generally unchecked by pests (and as such are a terrific first-time grower plant). But goodness, once they get established they just keep on cropping. One or two plants of something stalwart like the Defender variety will keep a family of four in courgettes for longer than they could ever reasonably need.

And you have to keep picking them. It can be very tempting to see a small courgette on the plant and think, “that’ll be ready to pick tomorrow”. Only to come back tomorrow to find a marrow in its place. So you must pick regularly. And this means it’s very easy to end up with a glut of courgettes cluttering up the fridge.

So, what to do with them?

Well, as this is a perennial problem of mine, I’ve already written a few suggestions – courgettes stuffed with lamb, courgette quiche and dip, courgette fritters, soup and carbonara and finally, with my first ever glut, courgette cake, tart and salad. But, amazingly, it seems I’m still finding ways to use the glut. So here are 3 brand new, and accidently quite Italian, ways to use your courgette glut.

First, a couple of quick raw salad ideas:

courgette anchovy salad - courgette glut

COURGETTE AND ANCHOVY SALAD

Use a julienne peeler (or spiraliser if you’re a gadget fiend) to make some courgetti out of 2 courgettes.

Toss in 3 tbsp of really good olive oil, the juice of ½ lemon and a pinch of salt. Set aside to mingle and soften for 10 minutes.

Mix in 8-10 anchovy fillets which you have cut into strips, a few roasted pine nuts, a grating of parmesan and finish with a few basil leaves.

COURGETTE, BURRATA, PRESERVED LEMONS AND HAZELNUTS

Use 2 courgettes to make courgette ribbons with a peeler and pop them in a bowl with a handful of roast hazelnuts, a slug of olive oil, ¼ of a preserved lemon, sliced, and a little salt. Give everything a toss.

Arrange the salad onto a platter, leaving a little divot in the middle. Break a burrata open and place it in the divot then finish with a turn of pepper and a bit more olive oil.

And finally, something for when you’ve a little, but only little, more time:

Griddled courgettes stuffed with mozzarella, prosciutto and pesto

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Serves: 4 as a snack or light starter

Griddled courgettes stuffed with mozzarella, prosciutto and pesto

Griddled or barbecued courgettes rolled and filled with delicious Italian flavours. A great summer al fresco snack.

  • 4 medium courgettes
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • Large bunch of basil, roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp parmesan, grated
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • Up to 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 100g prosciutto
  • 150g buffalo mozzarella, sliced in 1cm thick sticks
  • Cocktail sticks
  1. You can do these on the BBQ in which case you want a direct heat for this to get the char lines but not too hot or the courgettes will cremate in seconds. Or you can use a griddle pan on full heat.
  2. Slice the courgettes lengthways into 4mm thick strips. Brush with sunflower oil and season well with salt and pepper. Lay them on the grill and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side or until they are charred and soft. You may need to do this in batches then lay the cooked courgettes in a roasting tin and keep warm until you stuff them.
  3. Next make the pesto. Put the basil, parmesan, pine nuts, garlic and a dash of olive oil in a food processor and whizz to a thick paste. You can use a pestle and mortar if you prefer and more rustic finish. Add more olive oil and whizz, or pummel, again until you have a spoonable consistency. Season to taste.
  4. To assemble the rolls, put one slice of courgette on a board. Thinly spread with a little pesto then lay a piece of prosciutto on top. Place the mozzarella at one end of the courgette strip and roll the courgette up around the mozzarella. Secure with a cocktail stick if it looks a bit wayward. Repeat with the rest of the courgette slices then serve immediately with any leftover pesto for dipping.
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