Saturday, 31 July 2010

flowers and a courgette recipe

As well as all the lovely veg growing at the allotment, we've also planted up loads of flowers not just because they look pretty and add a splash of colour but in the attempt to lure the bugs and insects away from our crops. It stuck me the other day just how lovely some of the flowers are so I couldn't resist photographing them.

Ok, this shouldn't strictly go to flower but I just love the fluffy lilac flowers of our mint. They're soon to come off though as we want to contain the plant to just one spot so I'm afraid the plant will be having a trim very soon before all the seed disperses across the plot

These Nasturtiums were grown from seed harvested by Cloddigger from a neighbouring plot last year. They add a wonderful splash of colour and seem to grow in just about any condition

We love Marigolds not just for their magnificent display of colour but because they've helped keep the blackfly off the broadbeans this year. Such jolly little fellows guaranteed to brighten up the dullest spot

Our latest harvest - snowball turnip, courgettes (green and yellow), red onion, two HUGE cauliflower and, just out of shot, a big bucket of spuds - Kestral (whites) and Courage (reds).

The round yellow courgette have been very successful, much to our delight as it's the first time we've grown courgette. It's been nice to pass some of the excess on to friends and family but it has been even better to eat ourselves. If you've ever wondered what to do with a round courgette, you might like to try the following easy-to-prepare recipe:

Stuffed Courgette

1 round courgette
250ml passata or tin of chopped tomatoes
Clove of garlic, crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
Couscous (plain or flavoured - I like the Mediterranean variety available at most supermarkets)
Optional - fresh basil, finely chopped

Pre-heat oven to 180 C
Cut the courgette in half going through the middle of the stalk
Scope out the seeds and discard (or keep for drying out for sowing next year)
Carefully scope out some of the flesh and place in a bowl; retain the two halves of the courgette
Add the passata, garlic, oil and basil (if using) and mix
Add the couscous straight from packet and mix thoroughly, seasoning to taste
Divide the mixture equally between the two halves
Loosely wrap each courgette half in tin foil leaving enough of an air pocket to allow the couscous mixture to expand
Place in the oven and cook until couscous has risen and courgette flesh is soft - depends on size of courgette allow 40 mins to 1 hour

Makes a delicious dish on its on or as an accompaniment to chicken or fish

I hope you enjoy this as much as we did.

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