Although it might seem like this summer’s weather is particularly bad, it’s actually been pretty good for the garden; lots of rain and warmth. One of the biggest problems you might have at the moment is having too many courgettes and not knowing what to do with them!
If you haven’t got homegrown, look out for where the courgettes in the supermarket are from. There are no excuses for not having UK grown ones at this time of year!
Who doesn’t love courgettes?
They’re so versatile and you can find so many great recipes out there to help you use them up. They’re also really good for you, full of vitamin C, potassium and folic acid.
Despite all of this, as a veg gardener at this time of year, it can start to feel like everything you eat has courgette in it in one form or another but trust us, you won’t regret trying out these ideas.
So, what can you do with them?
Courgettes are great in sweet dishes as well as savoury. Try substituting carrot for courgette in your favourite carrot cake recipe, they’re wonderfully moist so it’s almost impossible for the cake to dry out.
Ever made an Aubergine Parmigiana? It’s a delicious mix of rich tomato sauce, parmesan and aubergine but guess what? Courgettes work really well in there too! Griddle the courgettes exactly as you would the aubergine and then follow the same steps as the aubergine recipe.
It’s always best to harvest courgettes when they’re small, especially if you have a lot of them. They’re much sweeter than the big ones and are great raw in salads – another tasty way to use them up.
They’re also wonderful in simple pasta dishes, risottos and quiches, one of our favourite flavours to pair them with is goat’s cheese or ricotta. Why not try a courgette and ricotta quiche?
Anyway, enough of courgettes!
What else can we harvest or eat seasonally in August?
Finally! Homegrown tomatoes are ripening fast! The tomato growing season is relatively short if you’re growing outside in this country so you’re probably only just beginning to see the fruits of your labour. It’s so worth it though, they taste amazing! Depending how many and what variety you have, the best way to eat these gems is fresh in salads so that you get the full flavour and nutrional benefits.
If you’re lucky enough to have a plum tree, now is the time to pick them! They’ll be sweet and delicious and fingers crossed for a bumper crop. They’re great in all kinds of desserts, Greenwich Pantry’s favourite is a simple crumble served with ice cream. If you’re struggling to get through what you’ve picked, try making jams or preserves to enjoy during the winter.
In our opinion, potatoes are one of the most satisfying crops to grow. They’re so simple yet so versatile and who doesn’t love roast potatoes and rosemary? Digging them up is hard work but so worth it. You can store them for a good few months if they’re in a cool, dark place and check them regularly for damp. Hessian sacks are one of the best things to keep them in as they’ll get some air but not too much light.
Broccoli is bursting with nutrients. It’s a good source of fibre and protein, and contains iron, potassium, calcium, selenium and magnesium. There’s also vitamins A, C, E, K and a good array of B vitamins including folic acid. Not only all of that, it’s delicious too! It can be used as the basis for a main dish or a side and is a great addition to a barbecue; try it with just a little oil and garlic and cook over the flames.
Remember that at Greenwich Pantry, we’re always happy to help you along on your food and cooking journey and have many different types of classes suitable for different levels, diets and tastes. Whether you want to learn more about Healthy Eating, considering a plant-based diet or want to be able to bake and decorate delicious cake or bread, we have something for you! Check out our class calendar here.
Did you know you can also buy gift vouchers and kitchen goodies for those foodie friends that you never know what to buy for? Click here for great cooking gift ideas.
Life is for cooking!