Here’s a neat way with courgettes that I made up all by myself, like the clever sausage I am. Now that we’re ramping up to Peak Courgette, it’s useful to have yet another courgette recipe to put into rotation, alongside other favourites like cake, briam (Greek potato and courgette bake) and fritters.
Herby courgette tart
Main ingredients are as follows, but use whatever you like (so long as it involves pastry and courgettes, obviously):
- 1 x sheet of frozen puff pastry, defrosted and ready to use
- Garlic and whatever herbs you like, such as thyme and oregano
- Onions (amount depends on how much you like onions!)
- 2 x small/medium courgettes
- Handful of cherry tomatoes
- Parmesan or whatever cheese you like (I'd maybe avoid the potential oil-slick of cheddar but it'd certainly taste good)
- Roll out your puff pastry so it roughly fits whichever baking sheet is least covered in cat hair (just me? Okay then). Mine was roughly 30cm x 30cm. If you want to be really fancy and make your own pastry, you can’t go wrong with Felicity Cloake’s method for rough puff pastry from her trusty quiche lorraine recipe.
- Spread the rolled-out pastry with some sort of tasty sauce. I did mascarpone, thinned down with a little milk to make it spreadable, mixed with some oregano, thyme and garlic from the garden. A light spreading of tomato passata, zhuzhed up with some herbs, sugar and garlic would also work. Basically you’re making a pastry courgette pizza. Act accordingly.
- Caramelise some onions – I did two red, two white and cooked them with some olive oil, sugar and red wine vinegar to speed things along. Spread over your waiting pastry base and try not to think about how much you now stink of onions.
- Use a potato peeler to make attractive long strips of courgette. Drape these artfully over the pastry.
- Top with some sliced tomatoes – a mixture of red and yellow cherry tomatoes is pretty.
- If you have some, dollop a few spoonfuls of pesto here and there.
- Sprinkle over some grated parmesan (did I mention this is basically a pastry pizza?) and season with salt and pepper.
- Bake until the pastry is nicely crisp and the browned, cheesy top screams ‘eat me’. This took about 45 minutes at roughly 180C in our outdoor woodburning oven.
Alongside a salad this would, in theory, serve four polite adults – or two greedy ones. Personally, I ate three quarters of the tart by myself in one go, and had the remaining quarter cold for lunch the next day. I’m sure it would reheat well; I was just too hungry to wait.
In non-courgette news…
The rest of the veg garden is doing nicely. We’re in for a good tomato year, although the Wonky Polytunnel’s days are clearly numbered.
My flower-arranging skills leave something to be desired but my enthusiasm for home-grown cut flowers is burning brightly. These are our gladioli. We have them in sunny yellow, too, but here I was going for an Elton John meets Mariah Carey, I-only-want-the-green-jellybeans diva look.
After a long absence, the village sheep herd is coming by our house every day. In our early days here, there was also a village goat herd, and a small cow herd. Now only the sheep remain. That’s progress for you. In a few years’ time, there’ll be no village sheep and I’ll miss them. What I won’t miss, though, is the shepherd who drives (yes, drives) behind the sheep, constantly beeping his horn to get them to keep moving – thus making something utterly charming just a little bit shit.