Thanks to Papa’s garden, I’m on my third summer of having more courgettes than I know what to do with. Every week Papa shows up at my door with a large basket of courgettes and I give him a glass of Rosé and try to suss out what I’m going to do with all of them.
The first summer of courgettes, I only knew one way to cook them, sauteed in olive oil with garlic and chili flakes and tossed with pasta. We ate that about three times a week (sorry Gregory).
And then I learned how to make Ratatouille, which originated here in Provence (obviously people here have been trying to figure out what do with all of the courgettes for like ever), but there is only so much Ratatouille a person can eat so this year I vowed to spread my courgette wings and this is how I did…
First there was Gwyneth Paltrow’s Fried-Zucchini spaghetti, which was good, but just felt like a glorified version of the first courgette pasta I made so that woudn’t do.
Then came the Chicken-Zucchini Alfredo and Zucchini Pasta Carbonara, but after awhile, all that pasta starts to taste the same, so I turned to soup, which normally doesn’t go well with summer but the Curried Zucchini soup I made was awfully tasty, even though it was hot as hades out. (For the record, cold soups like Gazpacho freak me out, so don’t even bother mentioning them… they’re just plain wrong).
Inspired by the curry soup, I made Real Simple’s Chicken & Courgette Curry, but that wasn’t as much a curry as it was an essence of curry, so it was a bit blah and left me wanting.
And of course I tried Gratins de Courgettes and Zucchini Lasagna, but quickly learned that having the oven on in my small kitchen is not very clever during the dog days.
So then I changed tack, and sought out courgette nibbles… tasty little bites of courgette rather than full meals (I for one like making a meal out of tasty little bites)…
There was The Boot Blog’s Baked Zucchini Chips which were easy and delicious too (but all of Marissa’s recipes are delicious).
And inspired by the most mouthwatering beignets that I had at a restaurant here in The LPV, I discovered Martha Stewart’s Zucchini Scallion Fritters (luckily Papa grows scallions as well). These were G O O D. But then, ever hopeful, I tried Martha’s Zucchini-Potato Pancakes and was underwhelmed. The potato made them heavier without adding much flavor. F A I L. But it’s OK, the Zucchini-Scallion Fritters are good enough to forgive Martha and her pancake indiscretion.
Basically, this is what I’ve been doing this summer. Other than the occassional BBQ, and random Le Petit Village adventure, I’ve been in my kitchen cooking courgettes. It’s all been rather dull.