The Courgette Edit

Compilation posts can seem a bit lazy but trust me, a lot of work has gone into the Courgette Edit. I’ve been growing and cooking courgettes for years, and as anyone who has planted summer squash knows, they are inexhaustible. No matter how many you eat or give away there is a constant supply and new recipes are always welcome. Continue reading

Crispy Cheesy Courgettes

Hallelujah! Put the flags out! I’ve finally found a courgette recipe my husband actively enjoys. To be honest that’s mostly because the offending vegetables (fruits, whatever) are camouflaged beneath a thick blanket of cheese and breadcrumbs, but my goodness, we’re getting through the heatwave-induced glut pretty darned fast. Turns out these crispy, cheesy courgettes can convert even the most died-in-the-wool summer squash sceptic. Continue reading

Goat’s Cheese and Tomato Tarts

Phew! It’s been too hot to cook, hasn’t it? We’ve spent the heatwave guzzling gazpacho and snacking on salads. But a sudden influx of (very welcome) visitors made me revisit the fridge for something other than just sticking my head inside and wishing I could climb aboard. So – ta-dah! – please allow me to introduce you to my goat’s cheese and tomato tarts. Continue reading

Roasted Radishes and Asparagus

Sweet, grassy asparagus and earthy radishes work so well together, raw or cooked.  Here I’ve roasted them for a quick but delicious summer salad. It works as a standalone dish for a quick lunch or as a side or a starter. Continue reading

Borlotti Beans with Tomatoes and Spinach

My recent freezer forage turned up a lot of home-grown borlotti beans. These speckled beauties are good simply cooked with aromatics and dressed with olive oil, herbs and  lemon zest and juice, but they’re even better in this rich tomato sauce. I added spinach because I had a big bag in the fridge, but you can use kale or chard, too. Continue reading

Extra-crunchy Celery Salad

Possibly the world’s crunchiest salad, this employs a technique which gives you super-crisp celery. It’s indescribably good. I’ve combined it here with beautiful blood oranges and black olives for an enlivening winter side dish. It’ll make your taste buds tap dance. Continue reading

Mrs Portly’s Panzanella

Panzanella is one of those excellent Italian recipes where frugality transcends virtue to become something greater. It marries stale bread with sweet, juicy tomatoes to give you the perfect summer salad, one with flavour and a bit of heft. Continue reading

Griddled Courgette Rolls

I really felt for Kathy Slack when I read about her tomato disaster, her lovingly nurtured seedlings run over and crushed by a Range Rover in a Cotswold lane. It wasn’t entirely the driver’s fault but anyone who grows their own will feel Kathy’s pain.

It’s one of the anecdotes in her new book, From The Veg Patch, published by Ebury Press. Full disclosure: Kathy is a friend and Guild of Food Writers colleague, but I wouldn’t be writing about the book if I didn’t rate it highly. She takes ten vegetables or fruits and gives ten recipes for each, along with bonus cooking ideas and growing tips. (Getting your seedlings run over is more of a cautionary tale.) Continue reading