I’ve not been very prolific at blogging over the summer. This is partly due to children being everywhere, all the time, and partly because I spent two lovely weeks in Greece. Mainly though, my time has been spent fighting a doughty and relentless foe, hell-bent on world domination: courgettes. ‘Three plants will supply the needs of a family for the summer’, said my allotment book. Well, I don’t know what family they were talking about. The Von Trapps? The Waltons? Certainly not our four, two of whom don’t really like courgettes. We’ve had them griddled every night for the last two months but that doesn’t keep them nearly at bay.
So first I made Courgettes in Oil:
Then Courgette and Ginger Jam:
Next: Courgette, Lemon and Tomato Relish:
I even tried Courgette and Chocolate Cake (bad photo alert):
But still they kept coming. This recipe was inspired by a meet up with my friend, Laura, who kindly gave me a chunk of Lancashire cheese. Laura is related to the folks at Greenfields Dairy in Goosnargh, near Preston in Lancashire. Their dairy is one of several in the area renowned for making Lancashire cheese, which itself comes in three different varieties: tasty, creamy and crumbly. Lancashire is unique amongst territorial British cheeses, as it’s made by blending together the curds from two or three day’s milkings. Traditionally, the cheese would be made with leftover milk and most farms just didn’t produce enough milk from one day and so turned it into curds to stop it souring and then added it to the next day’s curds until they had enough for a batch.
In Greece, we ate a rather large amount of Kolokithokeftedes, little courgette balls or fritters, full of herbs and feta cheese. Lancashire cheese has similarities, with its open texture and slight bite and so seemed like a good pairing with the dreaded marrows that waited for us on our return. This recipe makes rather a lot of fritters – up to 30 – and so would be ideal if you had guests.
3-4 medium courgettes (or one giant marrow-gette)
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp. chopped dill
2 tbsp. chopped mint
4-5 spring onions, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 egg, beaten
200g Lancashire cheese, grated or chopped into small cubes
85g plain flour
Salt and pepper to season
Vegetable oil for frying
Coarsely grate the courgettes into a bowl. Discard the seeds in the middle. Sprinkle the salt over the courgettes, roughly mix through and leave for one hour. After this time, squeeze the grated courgette with your hands to remove as much liquid as you can. Mix the courgettes with the herbs, onions, garlic, cheese, flour and breadcrumbs and stir through the egg.
When the ingredients are all combined, form small balls out of the mixture, about the size of a walnut and press them down slightly to make patties. Heat about 4cm of oil in a medium non-stick saucepan and fry the fritters in batches of five-six. Keep jiggling them so that they don’t stick to the bottom and, after about three minutes, turn them over and fry for another two minutes or until golden.
Remove them and leave them to drain on kitchen paper. Serve warm with minted yoghurt.