courgette

All posts tagged courgette

Let the Groove Get In: Courgette and Walnut blondie with white chocolate and lemon frosting

Published April 20, 2013 by The Feminist

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For those who still think that courgettes can only be used in savory dishes like Mediterranean stews and creamy soups: think again! Just like our humble Mister Carrot, a courgette works perfectly in a heavenly sweet cake! It adds a wonderful moisture to the cake and gives that little extra kick of flavour … sigh… Who would have thought such an “ordinary” squash could be so versatile?

I opted for a courgette and walnut blondie this time. Imagine that moreish moisture of the courgettes doing the Cha-Cha with nutritiously nutty walnuts, dancing the rumba with the sensually sweet white chocolate and performing an energetic jive with a zingy zesty lemon!

If this cake were a dance routine, it would be bigger and better than all the grand finales of all the Step Up movies together!

Courgette and walnut blondie with white chocolate and lemon frosting

Ingredients:

For the blondie:
• 150gr courgette, grated
• 150gr caster sugar
• 150gr plain flour
• ½ tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
• ½ tsp ground ginger
• 150ml sunflower oil
• 2 eggs
• Zest of one lemon
• 50gr white chocolate, chopped
• 50gr walnuts, chopped

For the frosting:
• 100gr white chocolate
• 25gr natural yoghurt
• Juice of half a lemon
• 50gr icing sugar

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C and line a 24×14 cm cake tin with baking parchment.
2. Mix together the eggs, oil and sugar until they are all combined.
3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and ground ginger and add to the egg mixture in two batches.
4. Lastly, add the grated courgette, chopped walnuts and chocolate and lemon zest, mixing them in thoroughly.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake into the oven for 40-45 minutes. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
6. For the frosting, melt the white chocolate in a pan over simmering water.
7. Mix the icing sugar together with the yoghurt and the lemon juice and stir in the melted chocolate.
8. Cover the top of the blondie generously with frosting and decorate with some walnuts.
9. Cut into little (or giant 😉 ) blondies, depending on how hungry you are.

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From “Meh! Vegetables” to “Yeah! Vegetables”

Published March 26, 2013 by The Feminist

Confession: I am the biggest vegetable lover on this planet.

It’s true! I love every type, shape, size, taste, smell of vegetables. To my mind, vegetables are awesome! For some reason, however, a lot of people (and I mean A LOT of people! ) don’t like their veggies. They think of them as plain and boring.

Let me tell you something: if you are one of those people, you just don’t know how to cook them right. There are so many fun and original things you can do with vegetables! They are the true masters in versatility! So what the f*** is wrong with you people?? Eat your vegetables! They’re not only good for you, they are also one of a kind!

We had a “Hurray, it’s spring!”- brunch a couple of days ago. On the menu: grilled asparagus wrapped in pancetta (heaven!), pecorino, courgette and broccoli quiche( double heaven!) and a Middle Eastern cauliflower salad (triple heaven!). The irony was, however, that exactly on the day of our spring welcoming, it was bloody snowing outside. But hey, when you’ve got so many yummy vegetable dishes in front of you, who cares?

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Pecorino, courgette and broccoli quiche
Ingredients:

• One sheet of shop-bought puff pastry
• 50gr pecorino cheese, grated
• 1 small broccoli, in small florets
• 1 small courgette, diced
• 1tbsp dried oregano
• Bunch of fresh parsley
• 2 eggs
• 200ml single cream
• 50ml whole milk

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 210°C. Grease a 23cm loose-bottomed tart dish with butter and gently line the tin with the sheet of puff pastry . Prick the pastry all over with a fork. Blind-bake the puff pastry case for 8-10 minutes.
2. Blanche the broccoli for a couple of minutes in salted water. Drain and rinse under cold water.
3. Sauté the diced courgette with the dried oregano in a tablespoon of olive oil.
4. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream and milk. Mix through the grated cheese and chopped parsley. Season generously with salt and pepper.
5. Put the vegetables on the bottom of your blind baked pastry and pour over the egg mixture.
6. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.

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Middle Eastern cauliflower salad

Ingredients:

• ½ large cauliflower, blanched and chopped finely.
• 3 spring unions, chopped
• Handful of raisins
• Bunch of fresh coriander
• Bunch of fresh parsley
• Handful of chopped almonds
• 1tsp cumin
• 4tbsp olive oil
• Juice of half a lemon

Method:

1. Easy! Put all the ingredients in a bowl, season generously with salt and pepper and mix through. Voila!

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Grilled asparagus wrapped in pancetta

Ingredients:

• 250gr thinly sliced pancetta
• 350gr green asparagus, ends trimmed
• Juice of half a lemon

Method:

1. Steam the asparagus al dente.
2. Wrap the asparagus with pancetta in bundles of five.
3. Heat a frying pan with olive oil. Add the bundles and fry to colour for one minute on each sideand sprinkle some lemon juice over the top and season with pepper.
4. Serve!

Everything tastes better with cheese: Tagliatelle with crunchy Mediterranean vegetables and feta cheese

Published March 7, 2013 by The Feminist

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Have I ever told you how much I love cheese? Never? Really? Damn! How could I just forget to express my love and devotion for cheese? Because cheese is the epitome of comfort food! Cheese is great! Cheese is wonderful!

I’m currently obsessed with Shropshire cheese. It is best described as a cross between Stilton and Cheshire. It has a sharp and strong flavour and a tangy aroma. I daresay it is the best thing to have hit this earth since sliced bread. (It is that good!)

shropshire

Another big favourite of mine is feta cheese. The taste of feta cheese immediately transports me to sunnier destinations. Think Greece minus the economic crisis, but with a bottle of retsina and sirtaki dancers. 😉

This pasta dish is so simple and quick you would almost think you were on candid camera: Some idiot would suddenly jump from behind your stove and shout: “Ha! You’ve just been pranked! Did you really think you could make this dish in fifteen minutes?”

Seriously. This is not a joke, this is reality. (And what a wonderful reality it is! ) Cook it. Eat it. Love it.

Tagliatelle with crunchy Mediterranean vegetables and feta cheese

Ingredients (serves 4)

• 350gr tagliatelle
• 2 medium-size courgettes, diced
• 1 yellow pepper, finally chopped
• 250gr cherry tomatoes, halved
• 1 red onion, finally chopped
• 1 clove of garlic
• 250gr feta cheese
• 200ml vegetable stock
• Lots of basil leaves

Method

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of good quality olive oil in a pan and fry the onion until soft. Add the courgette, pepper and garlic and stir-fry for a couple of minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Add the tomatoes and the vegetable stock ( This will give the pasta a lovely saucy coating.)
3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta al dente. Drain and combine with the vegetables. Toss well.
4. Crumble in the feta cheese and sprinkle over lots of shredded basil leaves.
5. Let the summer begin!

Some things are better left unsaid. But then again, that’s just not my style so I’m going to say it anyway: This was delicious!

Published February 27, 2013 by The Feminist

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Some things are better left unsaid. Other things ought to be shared with every person on the planet. This recipe falls in the latter category (no surprise there, I presume?)This pesto, courgette and mozzarella tart is healthy, hearty and delicious! The pesto is full of flavour and the beautifully grilled courgette slices work so well with the milky white of the mozzarella.
And what’s more: It is ridiculously easy to make and 100% meat-free! Even the most blatantly innate meat-loving cynic will love this bright and sunny dish. Serve with a triple bean and cherry tomato salad (forgot to take a picture of that one, sorry!) and you won’t even remember meat ever existed!

And no, I’m NOT exaggerating!

Pesto, courgette and mozzarella tart

Ingredients:

• 1 sheet puff pastry
• 2 small-medium size courgettes, in slices of approx. 5 mm
• 200gr good quality mozzarella cheese
• Homemade or store-bought pesto (I won’t judge 😉 )
• Basil leaves to decorate

Method:

1. Grill the slices of courgette on a hot grill until nice grill marks appear.
2. Preheat the oven to 200°C and place the puff pastry on a non-stick baking sheet.
3. Generously spread pesto over the pastry base, leaving a 2cm gap around the edge of the tart.
4. Arrange the courgette and mozzarella slices in a spiral shape on top of the pesto, overlapping slightly.
5. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Fold over the edges of the puff pastry and put bake in the oven for about 30 minutes.
7. Garnish with basil leaves and buon appetito!

When food is this good, words are simply superfluous: luscious linguini

Published January 23, 2013 by The Feminist

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Al dente linguini? … Check!
Brilliant pesto?… Check!
Grilled peppers and courgettes? … Check check check!

And all of that topped with peppery rocket and parmesan shavings…

Yes, this must be Italian food heaven!

When food is this good, words are simply superfluous.

Trust me 😉

Nigella would be so proud of me! Making Leftovers Right: Courgette towers with a feta-soufflé filling and tomato-oregano risotto

Published December 18, 2012 by The Feminist

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This dish was literally and figuratively a mouthful. Literally, because it was simply delicious and I wanted to shove everything in my mouth at once. Figuratively, because it takes at least seven seconds to pronounce this eleven-word-long phrase.

I love using leftovers ( in this case: feta cheese, overripe tomatoes and courgettes) because it makes me feel very productive and resourceful. A bit like the culinary equivalent of David Copperfield turning “the ordinary into the extraordinary”. (Did I just quote the Bombay Sapphire Gin slogan? … OMG, I so did that accidentally on purpose! 😉 ) Turning leftovers into spectacular dishes is what distinguishes the good cooks from the magical cooks. It takes a lot of creativity, imagination and –dare I say it- talent to come with inventive dishes like this one. Me, boastful? I did manage to create a feta soufflé INSIDE a courgette, you know! I deserve some credit for that!

Oh, Nigella would be so proud of me…