Summer Lovin'

Sunflower

Don’t you just love summer!?!

Summertime at my place usually comes with a glut of gorgeous summer vegetables. Tomatoes, courgettes, cucumbers, corn and beans galore! The great thing about so many delicious vegetables is that it is very easy to get the recommended 5+ servings a day. Tomatoes on toast for breakfast, cucumbers and beans with lunch, corn and courgettes for dinner. And they are all great accompaniments for a BBQ dinner too.

In saying courgettes for dinner, I find that you need 101 ways to use them up. They grow like triffids. If you miss picking them - for just 1 day - you end up with more than you bargained for. I regularly find a marrow hidden behind a leaf (or a pumpkin). It does make you have to get a bit imaginative with how to use them.

Here are a couple of ways to use those extra courgettes:

Courgette Fritters

Courgette fritters: grate a large courgette; add some finely chopped spring onion and herbs; beat in a couple of eggs and enough Self-Raising flour to bind it all together (I used about ¼ cup of mix with 2 eggs for the fritters pictured); cook spoonful’s in a moderately hot pan with a little cooking oil. Serve with a salad.

Marrow Fettucine: thinly slice the marrow lengthwise to make ‘fettucine’; cook in a fry pan or wok with a little olive oil and chopped garlic, splash of white wine or water. Top with your favourite pasta sauce.

Stuffed Marrow

Stuffing large courgettes or marrow is another delicious way to use them up. Cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the seedy centre; oil and season, then either place under the grill or on the BBQ and cook until just starting to soften; fill with stuffing (Smoked Fish Pie filling in the picture).You can either use a hot stuffing or place it all under the grill (maybe topped with cheese) to heat through. Savoury mince makes a nice stuffing.

Corn is so easy to cook on the BBQ: check out the Barbequed Corn recipe.

Excess tomatoes can be frozen to then use in winter soups or stews; chop them first, peel too if you like, and freeze in 1 – 2 cup portions for ease of use.

Pesto, the ultimate summer dip (in my opinion), freezes well so if you have lots of basil you can save that wonderful taste of summer sunshine to have in the middle of winter.

Pea and Feta Dip

Another fabulous summer dip, great at a picnic or on a platter, is the Pea and Feta Dip. With a big handful of mint it is so fresh and bright.

I love the long hazy, lazy days of summer and the fabulous fresh food. What do you love about summer?