Courgette & Lemon Loaf

Here’s a sweet way to use up your courgette glut. Grated courgette keeps a cake wonderfully moist and the little flecks of green are so pretty. But be careful, when creating this recipe I had a fair few flops before getting it right, don’t be tempted to add more courgette than the recipe states. The extra moisture can put the balance out of whack and make the cake sink after it comes out of the oven.

I made this in a loaf tin so it took about an hour to bake, but if you bake it in a round cake tin it will cook much quicker as there is more surface area and a shallower batter, just keep an eye on it. Why not double the recipe and bake two round cakes to sandwich together? Make a simple lemon buttercream and decorate with raspberries and pistachios for a real summery treat.

Liz x

Ingredients

  • 250g grated courgette
  • 300g plain flour
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • 100ml oat milk
  • 100ml olive oil
  • zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon (reserve the other half of the lemon juice and zest for the icing)

Lemon Drizzle Icing

  • the juice of half a lemon
  • enough icing sugar to bring it into a consistency you like
  • the zest of half the lemon to decorate

Method

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 175C and line a loaf tin.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, bicarb) together in a large mixing bowl so that they are evenly dispersed.
  3. Add the wet ingredients (oat milk, oil, lemon juice) and stir to just combine. Do not over-mix. This batter should be fairly dry and thick to compensate for the water content of the courgette.
  4. Add the grated courgette and lemon zest to the bowl and use a wooden spoon to fold the mixture together into a thick batter.
  5. Scrape the batter into the lined loaf tin and level it out.
  6. Bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour or until it’s cooked through. If your oven is fan assisted it may cook faster. Test for ‘doneness’ by inserting a skewer into the centre of the loaf. When pulled out it should be fairly clean.
  7. Allow the cake to cool for 5 minutes or so in the tin before carefully pulling it out onto a cooling rack. Let it cool completely before icing.
  8. To make the icing, squeeze the juice of the other half of the lemon into a bowl and whisk in spoons of icing sugar until you reach your desired consistency. I like it quite runny so it just creates a delicate glaze over the cake but if you prefer a whiter, thicker icing, keep adding sugar until the mixture is fairly thick.
  9. Spoon the icing over the cooled cake and, while it is still wet, sprinkle over the reserved lemon zest. Allow the icing to set then serve in thick slices with mugs of Earl Grey tea.

Ratatouille

Ratatouille is a classic one pot celebration of summer vegetables. Although it’s a simple recipe, with humble ingredients, it’s all about timings and getting the vegetables cooked just right. Spongey, undercooked aubergine is the reason many people don’t like it. Aubergine should be silky and soft, and almost melt in the mouth and then it’s absolutely stunning! Serve with some good bread and a glass of red. We often add a drained tin or two of white beans or lentils to this summer stew to boost the protein and make it an even heartier meal.

Why not make a double or triple batch and get some in the freezer for a busy day? You could even blend some for a quick summery soup or a flavoursome pasta sauce.

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 aubergine
  • 2 courgette
  • 2 red pepper
  • 4-6 tomatoes (or 12 cherry tomatoes, or a couple of tins of chopped tomatoes)
  • 6 cloves of garlic – peeled and diced
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • basil to taste

Method

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200C.
  2. Chop the aubergine and peppers into bite sized pieces. Put them in a deep roasting dish and drizzle with the olive oil.
  3. Season well with salt and pepper, mix with your hands to evenly coat the vegetables in the seasoning. Then put the dish in the oven to roast for 20 minutes.
  4. After 20 minutes, remove the dish from the oven and add the courgettes and tomatoes, also cut into bite sized pieces.
  5. Add the garlic, red wine vinegar and a little more salt and pepper. Mix well and return to the oven for another 20 minutes or until everything is well cooked.
  6. Stir through lots of freshly torn basil and serve in bowls with fresh bread. Or it’s lovely with pasta or potatoes. Bulk it out and add protein with a drained tin of white beans or green lentils.

Quick Pickled Courgettes

Got a glut of courgettes? We’ve got the recipes. As well as this classic quick pickle, a delicious solution for many excess veg, I’ve shared a fair few other courgette recipes. Just pop ‘courgette’ in the search bar and they’ll come up.

Quick pickles do what they say on the tin. They are quick and simple to put together and they are ready to eat in just a couple of days. You can definitely eat them earlier too, I just think the flavours develop better after a couple of days in the fridge. They last a long time too, especially if you sterilise the jar and close it while the vinegar solution is still hot. Keep the pickles in the fridge and don’t double dip and they should last for 2 months, if you don’t eat them up in that time… don’t store these pickles at room temperature unless you can them, which is a whole other process.

Pickled courgettes are so delicious in a sandwich or burger, with cheese and crackers or as a tangy, crunchy part of a salad. You can also flavour them however you like. Go herby with dill, spicy with chilli, use classic pickling spices, bay leaves, garlic, ginger…whatever you like! Enjoy! Liz x

Ingredients (makes 2 medium jars, around a litre volume)

  • 300ml apple cider vinegar (we LOVE Clashganny Farm’s organic ACV)
  • 300ml water
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar (optional but really nice)
  • flavourings of your choice – I used: 3 sliced cloves of garlic, 1 tsp ground turmeric, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 courgette
  • 1/2 a white onion

Method

  1. Start by finding 2 small jars (or 1 big one? – it all depends on how much pickle you’re making or the size of your courgettes) and giving them a really good clean and hot rinse. Or you can sterilise them to be extra safe. Put the washed and rinsed jars in a clean sink then fill them with freshly boiled water from the kettle. Wait a minute then carefully empty the jars (use oven gloves or a folded tea towel so you don’t burn your hands). Let them air dry while you get on with chopping and heating up your vinegar solution.
  2. Measure the vinegar, water, salt and sugar into a small pan and heat it up while you quickly add the flavourings to the jars and chop the vegetables.
  3. Divide your flavourings between your jars. Then thinly slice the courgette and onion and divide them between the jars too. Lightly press the vegetables down into the jars to pack them in neatly, but don’t crush them. You should leave a couple of cm of room in the jar.
  4. As the vinegar solution comes to the boil, take it off the heat and pour it into the jars over the vegetables and flavourings. The solution should cover the vegetables. Give the jars a light tap on the work surface to remove any air bubbles that may be trapped between the layers of vegetables. Then screw on the lids whilst the jars are still hot. You may not use all the vinegar solution, or you may need to make a bit more.
  5. Allow them to cool then refrigerate. The pickles will be ready to eat in two days and will last in the fridge for 2 months.

Slow-Cooked Courgette Caviar

Courgette caviar is a Russian/Ukrainian spread made from slowly cooking summer vegetables down into a rustic and delicious purée. The long, slow sauté reduces and caramelises the vegetables together, elevating these humble ingredients into a stunning jar of flavour. This is so much more than a stew. Slow cooked courgettes have the most wonderful texture, you can also use aubergines or a combination of the two. It’s just a brilliant way of using up a glut of courgettes and other summer veggies. If we are having a barbecue, I sometimes chuck a few courgettes and aubergines (also peppers, whole bulbs of garlic, carrots…) on to get smokey and soft then make this purée with those. It’s amazing, the smokiness really comes through. Just peel off any very blackened bits of skin and sauté and crush the vegetables together in the pan until reduced.

Enjoy cold on good bread or with crackers. It’s delicious as part of a picnic spread with cheese, pickles, ferments etc. Or heat it up and loosen it with some pasta water for a quick pasta sauce. It’s an incredible pizza sauce base too! I have never tried making a huge batch and keeping the jars in a cellar, but if you have the know-how and the right equipment, that’s a great way to preserve the fruits of summer. But making the recipe as per the method below, the jar should last well in the fridge for two weeks.

Liz x

Ingredients* (makes a large jar approximately 1 litre)

*don’t worry too much about amounts and the ingredients can vary too! Leave out the pepper, add aubergine, use fresh tomatoes, add more or less garlic… it’s more about the technique of slowly cooking down and caramelising the vegetables together than getting the proportions and ingredients exact. I suppose starchy vegetables like potatoes wouldn’t work here, but most other vegetables will be fine. Use any combination that you like. Here’s what I did this time:

  • 1 onion
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • a generous slick of olive oil to coat your pot/pan, plus extra to to top the jar
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 courgettes
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • salt to taste
  • optional extras like black pepper, dill or fennel seeds, coriander seeds, chilli…

Method

  1. Start by dicing or grating all your ingredients.
  2. In a large, heavy bottomed saucepan or pot, heat up a generous slick of olive oil and add the diced onion. Keep the pot at medium high and stir fry the onions until they start to soften and colour.
  3. Add the garlic, courgettes, carrots, pepper and a big pinch of salt. Sauté, stirring regularly for at least 30 minutes. You will need to lower the heat as you go. It’s nice if the vegetables caramelise and slightly catch on the bottom of the pan. Just keep scraping the base of the pan with a wooden spoon.
  4. Crush the vegetables together with the back of the wooden spoon, or use a masher to help you along.
  5. When the vegetables are reduced and drying out, add the tomatoes and keep cooking, stirring and reducing. You should end up with a rich, thick purée. You can keep it rustic or blend it smooth.
  6. Pack the mixture while it’s still hot into a large, sterilised jar. Add a layer of olive oil and put the lid on. This should make it last longer.
  7. Keep it in the fridge. It should last well for 2 weeks.

Aubergine Involtini

Involtini in Italian means ‘rolls’ and this aubergine version is one of my all time favourite dishes. I am obsessed with aubergine, perhaps it’s because I used to hate it as a child and now I’m making up for lost time? But whenever aubergine season hits, this recipe is at the top of my list. I also make this with courgettes in place of the aubergines sometimes, especially when there’s a lot of them to use up. Griddled courgette strips are so tasty so give that version a try too.

The filling can be whatever you want it to be. I usually go for something simple like a mixture of cheese (vegan feta or cashew cheese are my favs) and pesto. But roasted and crushed squash with toasted pine nuts or hazelnuts is also really good! Perfect for that summer-autumn crossover. Let us know in the comments what fillings worked well for you?

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

  • 2 aubergines
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 jars of Napoli tomato sauce (or make your own tomato sauce by sautéing a diced onion and 4 cloves of garlic with a little olive oil until soft, then add 2 tins of chopped tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste and some torn basil leaves and simmer for 15 minutes or so)
  • 130g jar of pesto
  • 200-300g cheese of your choice (feta works really well here – I use my tofu feta recipe found at the end of this blog post, otherwise we stock a variety of plant based cheeses and organic feta)
  • pasta or fresh bread to serve

Method

  1. Find a medium sized, deep roasting dish and turn your oven to 200C to warm up while you prepare the dish.
  2. If you’re not using our tasty, ready made tomato sauce, make a simple batch yourself using two 400g tins of chopped tomatoes. I sautéed a diced onion with a couple of tbsp of olive oil and 4 cloves of garlic until soft and just starting to colour. Then tipped in the two tins of tomatoes (swirled out the remaining tomatoey juices from the tins with a little water and added that to the pot too) and seasoned with salt and pepper. Then simmered the sauce with some torn basil leaves for around 10-15 minutes until it was rich and delicious.
  3. Keep the sauce warm while you prepare the aubergines and filling.
  4. Slice the tops off the aubergine as close to the stalk as possible, then peel or slice off any still-attached leafy bits. Carefully cut the aubergines into around 4mm thick, long strips.
  5. Pour the olive oil into a small bowl or glass and season it with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Then brush the aubergine slices with the seasoned olive oil and grill them in batches in a griddle pan, or under a hot grill in the oven. Turn halfway through. They should be soft and beautifully charred but still manageable. As they cook, lay them out on a large chopping board or clean worksurface ready for stuffing and rolling.
  6. Meanwhile make your filling. I mashed about 300g of feta with a jar of pesto.
  7. Pour the warm tomato sauce into your baking dish and start assembling the involtini.
  8. Place a tablespoon of filling at the end of a griddled aubergine slice. Then roll it up and tuck the roll, seam side down, into the tomato sauce.
  9. Repeat until all the rolls are stuffed. Then place the dish in the oven and bake for around 15-20 minutes or until hot and bubbling.
  10. Serve with freshly boiled pasta or some crusty bread and enjoy!

Courgette, Feta & Dill Fritters

Fritters are a fab summer lunch with salads and a great way to use up a glut of vegetables. Courgettes are having their ‘glut moment’ on the farm right now, so here’s a delicious courgette fritter recipe for you to try if you get a lot of courgettes in your box and you’re stuck for ideas.

I usually make a gram flour (chickpea flour) batter of just gram flour, water and seasoning, and then stir in shredded/finely chopped veg to make fritters, but I didn’t have any gram flour so here’s a wheat and corn flour variety which works well too! Fritters are fairly forgiving, just use whatever flour you have in. Courgettes are quite watery vegetables, so I like to grate and salt them, then after the salt has drawn the liquid out, mix in enough flour to make a fairly thick batter. No need to add any other liquid or you’ll end up with soggy rather than crisp fritters!

Liz x

Ingredients (makes 6-8 fritters)

  • 1 large or 2 small courgettes
  • a large pinch of salt (about 1/2 a tsp or to taste)
  • black pepper to taste
  • a big handful of chopped dill or fennel fronds (or any herbs you like – mint or parsley work well)
  • a block of feta, crumbled (or make my tofu feta recipe here)
  • 4 tbsp plain flour (or more/less – see method)
  • 4 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch (or more/less – see method)
  • olive oil for frying
  • lemon wedges, salad & tzatziki to serve

Method

  1. Start by grating your courgettes into a large mixing bowl. Use the course side of the grater.
  2. Sprinkle over the pinch of salt and pepper and mix well. Then taste and decide if you’d like to add more. The courgettes should just taste pleasantly seasoned.
  3. Give the salt time to draw the liquid out of the courgettes and use this time to prepare some salads and make a tzatziki (simply mix grated cucumber through thick yoghurt, season with salt, pepper and a little crushed garlic, stir well and add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and fresh dill or mint).
  4. Once the courgettes are wet, this only takes 10 minutes or less, you can start adding the flour. I like to use an even mix of cornflour and plain flour. The corn flour makes the fritters a little crispier.
  5. Add one heaped tbsp of each flour to the wet courgettes then stir the mixture. Keep adding more of both flours and stirring until you have a thick fritter batter. If your courgette is very watery you’ll need more flour, if it’s drier you’ll need less.
  6. Then stir through the herbs and crumbled feta and warm up a frying pan to medium with a generous slick of olive oil in the bottom of the pan.
  7. Fry spoons of the mixture in small batches in the pan. Turn over after 3-5 minutes, once golden brown and crispy underneath and fry the other side for a further 3-5 minutes.
  8. Keep the heat at medium, don’t be tempted to turn it to high or you may get fritters which are burned on the outside and raw and doughy in the middle.
  9. Serve with salads and tzatziki for a lovely lunch. The fritters are delicious eaten hot with a squeeze of lemon. Or pop the fritters into a burger bun or sandwich as a summery veggie burger or sandwich filler alternative.

Raw Courgette & Hazelnut Salad

We are in the midst of a classic courgette glut on the farm. Next week we’ll add some free courgettes to all the boxes, we hope you enjoy them. Expect lots of courgette recipes to come your way. We’d love to know your favourite courgette recipes too please! Let us know in the comments or over on our community Facebook group. I’ll start us off with this super simple salad. It’s so easy to make (just a matter of combining raw courgettes with a lemony dressing, then scattering over some toasted hazelnuts) and oh SO delicious! I have this salad often this time of year as a side to pretty much any meal, or it’s brilliant stirred through freshly boiled pasta or bulked out with a drained tin of lentils.

Liz x

Ingredients

  • Courgettes (2 small or 1 large)
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • the juice of half a small lemon (have you tried our new season verdelli lemons?)
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a handful or two of hazelnuts, toasted in a dry pan then roughly chopped

Method

  1. Using a potato peeler, slice the courgettes into delicate, thin ribbons. For ease, slice them directly over a serving platter or large salad bowl.
  2. Make the dressing by stirring together the olive oil, lemon juice and crushed garlic with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  3. Drizzle the dressing over the courgette ribbons. You could toss the salad now to evenly coat the ribbons with the dressing, or just leave it drizzly.
  4. Then toast the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan until nicely coloured. Tip them onto a board and carefully chop them up a bit to make them go further through the salad.
  5. Scatter them over the dressed ribbons and finish the salad with a little sprinkle of flakey sea salt. We LOVE Achill Island sea salt for exactly this type of dish.
  6. Enjoy as is as part of a salad buffet or alongside a BBQ. Or make it a light, refreshing meal by tossing through some freshly boiled pasta or a drained tin of cooked green lentils.

Potatoes & Peas with Mint Salsa Verde

How about a potato salad with fresher flavours? A tangy, herby salsa verde made with mint and capers pairs perfectly with peas and buttery new potatoes. If you don’t have peas in the freezer, switch them with any fresh greens you like. We particularly love this salad with thinly sliced raw courgette in place of the peas or chopped and steamed French beans or broccoli. Anyway you make it, it’s a brilliant bowl to bring along to a BBQ.

Liz x

Ingredients

  • 12 new potatoes
  • 150g cooked peas (or this is lovely with thinly sliced raw courgette or chopped and steamed French beans or broccoli too!)
  • 25g fresh mint leaves
  • 3 tbsp capers
  • 1 garlic clove
  • the juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Halve and boil the new potatoes until tender, then drain and cool while you make the salsa verde.
  2. Put the mint, garlic, capers, lemon juice and olive oil into a blender.
  3. Blend into a loose sauce then taste – add more lemon, olive oil or capers to taste. You shouldn’t need to add salt, the capers are plenty salty enough.
  4. Put the cooked and cooled potatoes into a bowl with the peas (or broccoli, French beans or courgette slices) and drizzle over half the salsa verde and toss to combine.
  5. Add more salsa verde or keep left overs in a jar in the fridge and use within a week. It’s great over salads & roasted vegetables, spread into a wrap or stirred through a summery soup or stew.

One Pot Baked Orzo Pasta

One pot suppers are my favourite types of suppers. Not just for the lack of pots and pans to scrub, although let’s be honest, that is the main reason, but also because it’s just so satisfying, pulling a dish out of the oven and onto the centre of the table and watching everyone tuck in. This baked orzo recipe, like pretty much all of my recipes, is super-flexible. Use it as inspiration rather than instruction and tweak it with any vegetables you have in your box this week. Orzo is simply rice shaped pasta. I often pop a drained tin of beans or lentils into the mix too for some added fibre and protein. Let us know how your version went in the comments.

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4-5)

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions – diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic – diced
  • roughly chopped vegetables of your choice (I went ‘Med-veg’ style and used – 1 aubergine, 1/2 a fennel bulb, 2 courgettes, 1 yellow pepper)
  • 500g orzo pasta
  • the juice of a lemon (or a tbsp of preserved lemon paste)
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 500ml water
  • salt, pepper and herbs to taste
  • added extras to taste – olives, capers, sun-dried tomatoes, a drained tin of beans/lentils/chickpeas…
  • grated cheese (or vegan cheese – we sell a range or make my tofu-feta recipe) to finish

Method

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200C and find a large oven and hob safe pan with a lid. If you don’t have one, you could use a roasting dish and some tin foil – roast rather than sauté the vegetables.
  2. Sauté the diced onion and garlic with the olive oil for 5-10 minutes or until starting to soften and colour.
  3. Add the chopped vegetables, season with salt and pepper and sauté for a further 10 minutes until not fully cooked through, but just starting to caramelise on the outsides.
  4. Pour the orzo into the pan along with the lemon and tin of chopped tomatoes. Swirl the juices out of the tin into a measuring jug until you have 500ml of water and add that to the pan too.
  5. At this point you may wish to add some extra ingredients like herbs, olives, capers, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, a drained tin of butterbeans etc…
  6. Stir well to combine the ingredients then place the lid on the dish and put it in the oven to bake for 20-30 minutes or until the pasta has absorbed all the liquid.
  7. Remove the lid and add a generous sprinkle of grated cheese. Return the dish to the oven with the lid off for 5 minutes or until bubbling and starting to take on some colour.
  8. Enjoy with a simple green salad.

Spring Risotto

Brr! Spring is here but there are still some pretty chilly spells. Who got that day of blazing sunshine interspersed with freezing hail storms the other day? These erratic-weather days call for a steaming bowl of comforting risotto.

You can’t go wrong with risottos, they are the best way to celebrate and capture the essence of a season. Oozy, umami-rich mushroom risotto is perfect in Autumn, but in Spring I want verdant green colours and bright herby flavours! So here’s my latest creation, an asparagus, courgette and cherry tomato risotto with pesto stirred through just before serving. Light and bright enough to shout ‘Spring!’ But cosy and comforting enough to make you forget about being caught in that hail storm earlier.

Add the ingredients to your next order from Green Earth Organics here. We deliver to every address in Ireland. Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 courgette
  • 3 handfuls of cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 mug of risotto rice
  • 1 stock cube
  • 1 bundle of asparagus
  • 1 lemon (zest and juice)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 heaped tbsp pesto
  • toasted nuts/seeds to serve

Method

Dice the celery and courgette and soften in a large pot with the olive oil over a medium-high heat. (You could also add diced onions and garlic for extra flavour).

Halve the cherry tomatoes and add them to the pot along with the mug of rice and stir well.

Snap the woody ends off the asparagus and pop them in the compost bin or in a freezer box to make stock with another time. Then slice off the asparagus tips (a couple of inches from each spear) and put to one side to use at the end. The middle part of the asparagus spears can be sliced into slim rounds and added to the pot now.

Crumble in the stock cube and add a mug of water to the pot. Stir and simmer until the water has been absorbed by the rice.

Add the zest and juice of the lemon and another mug of water. Stir and simmer agin until the liquid has been absorbed. Then add more water, half a mug at a time, until the rice is cooked through but still retains a little bite.

Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. Then add the asparagus tips and simmer for just 3 minutes or so until they are just cooked through, bright green and still crunchy.

Just before serving, stir through the nutritional yeast and pesto to add brightness, herby flavour and cheesy richness to the dish.

Serve in warm bowl with toasted nuts/seeds scattered over each bowl. Enjoy under a cosy blanket on the sofa watching your favourite film!