This week’s recipe is one of my all time favourites from Madhur Jaffrey, using courgettes (zucchini) that are now in abundance in our garden. We have been picking courgettes in between rain showers all week, but I managed to get properly into the garden today, for the first time in ages (the weather has been so bad!), and it lifted my heart to see all the growing and blossoming that is going on out there. The hydgrangea that my dad planted is in its glory, it is such a stunning plant – the colour absolutely biffs you in the face:
The cone flowers (Echinacea purpurea) are just about to start flowering. They look incredible even now, but will be even better over the next month – and will be covered in bees:
If you click on that photo to see the larger version, you can see the beautiful spider-webs woven between the emerging petals. Vegetable-wise, the runner beans have hit the top of their bamboo supports. I expect that this time next month we will be heartily sick of runner beans…
So this is a recipe for those times when you need to dispose of a lot of courgettes, quickly, in a delicious way (and know that you shouldn’t make yet another courgette cake!)… I guess you could describe it as a salad/dip along the same lines as tzatziki, but you can eat it warm, and it is a bit softer and tangier (and less garlicky!) than tzatziki. We serve it as a side dish with vegetable, pulse or lamb curries, and it is also wonderful as a dip with warm pitta bread or crackers. And, as I said, you can serve it warm, at room temperature, or chilled from the fridge. The recipe is from Eastern Vegetarian Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey – a book I very much recommend.
Today I dolloped spoonfuls of the delicious dip onto these amazing seaweed crackers from Stag Bakeries in Stornoway. I was lucky enough to get a little freebie pack to test and can report that they are highly moreish – even Twin One approved (a rare occurrence for anything out of the ordinary for him!). The salty tang of the seaweed worked incredibly well with the equally tangy yoghurt – and there was a great contrast between the flaky crunchy cracker and the silky-smooth courgette.
Courgette with Yoghurt
- About 400g of courgettes, coarsely grated (don’t worry if you have a little more or less, you can just add a touch more/less yoghurt)
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp olive oil (or your preferred cooking oil)
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- 1 medium sized onion, cut in half and sliced thinly
- 350g plain natural yoghurt (as always, I recommend Longley Farm – best yoghurt in the world!)
- 1/4tsp cayenne pepper (or more/less as you prefer)
- Put the grated courgette in a sieve and then sprinkle with 1 tsp of salt. Put over a bowl or prop over your sink and allow to drip for 30 minutes or so. Squeeze out as much water as you can.
- Heat the oil in a medium frying pan until it is hot, and then throw in the mustard seeds.
- As soon as the mustard seeds start popping, put the onion into the pan and fry, on a medium heat, stirring all the time, until the onion is translucent.
- Add the courgette and fry for another few minutes until the courgette is soft. Then turn off the heat and leave to cool for a few minutes. If you add the yoghurt when the courgette and the pan are still hot, the yoghurt will split.
- Add the yoghurt, salt and pepper and cayenne and stir gently to combine.