Tuesday, July 26

When it comes to courgettes - we always over-rule our head!

Each year at this time - I guess along with many other gardeners - we make a resolution that in future we will not grow as many courgette plants. 

As we like to grow both green and yellow varieties it means buying two packets, (or even three if we can't make up our minds), each containing about ten seeds. Then there are years when we end up with a third packet courtesy of one of our gardening magazines!
All good intentions to limit courgette production fade at seed sowing time when the “what ifs?” creep into the equation.
What if the seeds don’t all germinate?
What if something munches some of the seeds or seedlings?
What if they germinate and then die off - especially when compost seems so variable and some seedlings fail to thrive in it?
What if some just don’t grow when planted out?

If you grow courgettes at all you must have been there. The seeds all end up being sown - after all you can always give some plants away or even throw some away (well maybe not).
They all grow and produce healthy plants - even the ones that looked a bit dodgy when planted out rally. You give some away - that is if you can find someone who isn’t in exactly the same position as you or someone who hasn’t been grabbed by someone else and persuaded to adopt a courgette plant!

So you end up with a mountain of courgettes again. Some race to the marrette stage before you even spot them. You even end up with some doubles!

Then it's a case of who do I know that likes courgettes and doesn’t grow their own? Anyone you come into contact with during the next month or so will be fair game!

With a courgette glut imminent I have been scouring the Internet for recipes that use courgettes and have come across a few that I will try including one for a courgette cake.

Many courgette recipes also call for tomatoes and as we haven’t yet reached the tomato mountain stage - if we ever do - the first recipe that I’ve made is for Courgette Burgers. It's not exactly the same as the recipe on the Internet but are they ever? I've come up with a few variations and so far we have had one flavoured with fresh garden mint and another with ground cumin.
If you fancy having a go it is in the recipe section of my website here. We usually freeze chopped courgettes for use in curries etc. later in the year but this year we are thinking of trying to freeze some ready grated so we can enjoy these burgers in winter. (By the way the shine on the burgers is caused by the kitchen lights and not grease!)

Last year we enjoyed Courgette and Summer Vegetable Gratin and will no doubt get round to cooking it again this year when we start harvesting runner or French beans - that recipe is here. I've other recipes (not necessarliy courgette related) accessible from the recipe tab at the top of the blog.
I’ve collected quite a few more recipes to try - there are lots to choose from on websites such as The BBC Good Food website and The Good Food Channel website  but there is nothing to beat a personal recommendation. If you have a favourite courgette recipe then email me a link to a website or blog post and I'll add it to the page I have set up accessible from the sidebar. If you have a photo of the recipe on your blog please let me know if you give permission for me to use it!

If the recipe is short then you could add it to your comment.


  1. OK, so I have to be the only veg gardener in the UK who hasn't grown courgettes this year! In previous years I had the problems you described, so I decided not to grow them any more. Actually, if I'm honest I have to say that courgettes are not my favourite veg. I'd rather use the space for something else.

  2. Sue, you are performing a public service!

    If you are short of recipes try searching for zuccini too - Snork.

    If I ever got desparate I would resort to trying the courgrette pizza topping Peter Boizot recommended. So far this year production has been slow to start with a degree of blossom end rot in the damp. But things are taking off now. Three out of my seven plants (yes 7 what was I thinking of) I planted in a raised bed with some tomatoes and cucummbers. The whole bed has been a flop first of all for asparagus and now for these. Half of me says the manure is too rich/new/woody, the nights have been too cold etc. The other half fears it is contaminated with that hormonal weedkiller residue (although the same stuff is allover my plot without similar problems). Either way, for once I can report that planting double the quantity turned out to be not such a bad idea.

  3. Hi Sue, I love the look of the yellow variety, I might have to add those next year. This year, like Mal, I've just had trouble. Blossom end rot, too cool, too damp, but I'm not giving up hope that summer will find it's way to the PNW. I love that you have a recipe page!! Will be checking that out.

  4. I tried growing courgettes in our old 'postage stamp' garden. The seeds did really well but the night after I had planted them out, all of them were destroyed by the slugs. The OH doesn't really like them but I do - especially when they are young and fresh. I will definitely grow them next year. The courgette burger looks great by the way.

  5. They do take up lots of room Mark but we have the space!

    I'll look at the pizza recipe Mal, only 7 courgette plants? If your problem was hormonal weedkiller the first to suffer would be potatoes, tomatoes, beans and peas. Courgettes would probably thrive on rich manure so I'd go for the cold nights.

    It had been anything but too wet here Jenni.

    It seems to be one plant that our slugs will only at most have a nibble at Alison.

  6. My courgettes are slow to get going this year. I'm trying some yellow courgettes for the first time, along with the green which I usually grow. The courgette burgers look great, I might give them a go if my plants ever start producing.

  7. That made me smile! I've done exactly the same, wanted both yellow and green, worried about not having all the plants survive, ended up with too many... Am about to make a Jamie Oliver smashed courgette paste thingy for lunch, but have filed away your recipes, I think I may need them soon...

  8. The What if is so familiar here too ;-). I know where to search for courgette recipe now thanks to you. That burger looks delicious. We still don't have much success with courgettes yet due to problem space.

  9. Ehhh, no Mark, you are not alone. I too, am a gardener without courgettes. Dear Sue, I'm rather envious, I love courgettes, but no room to grow them. Our compost heap is in the shade, so no luck there either. Courgettes make the best soup though. Very easy, put a potato and about 3-4 courgettes in a pan with some water and good stock. Boil until soft and whizz them up to a nice smooth liquid. I like mine quite runny, others prefer thicker soup. If the latter, increase the potato content, or reduce the water/stock. Salt and pepper and then the crucial element. Crush in a fresh clove of garlic and masses of fresh coriander. Finally a drizzle of olive oil. Heavenly...!!

  10. I'm sure you'll get some courgettes, Jo and once they start you'll wish they'd stop!

    We just can't help it can we Janet! Does that make us courgettaholics?

    They do take lots of room Diana but you only really need one!

    Thanks for the recipe Petra - do you eat it cold or hot or either?

  11. It's much better to have too many then none at all! I think that we have all been there with too many!

    I slice and freeze some of mine for use over the winter.

  12. We freeze lots too, Robin. It will make up for the crops that aren't as good.

  13. Hi Sue,

    You eat the soup warm. Never tried it cold. Hope you like it.

  14. I never thought about freezing courgettes so I'm glad you mentioned it...thanks for the tip!!

  15. Tanya, We freeze courgette cut into pieces but this year have frozen it grated with the water squeezed out. This can be used for the fritters and also things like pasta sauce. Grated takes less space.


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