We are always looking for ways to use our gorgeous homegrown glossy green courgettes. This is our take on an Italian dish called Scarpaccia which loosely means ‘bad shoe’ because its as thin as a bad shoe apparently! It does make a very thin courgette tart for sure. The courgettes are very thinly sliced and the juice is extracted with salt but not wasted as it goes into the batter. We love the zero waste here.
Most of the recipes I came across used cornmeal but I used dried panko breadcrumbs in their place and it worked out just fine.
This is a gorgeous recipe to try, let us know if you do.
Step 1: Use a mandoline if you have one to finely slice the courgettes and red onion, 2-3mm thick. Then add the slices to a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle in the salt and toss through with your hands to coat in the salt, 2-3 minutes. Put a plate on top and a weight like a couple of tins to help extract all the liquid. Leave this for 2 hours.
Step 2: Preheat the oven 180ºC and oil a baking tray really well, 9 x 13 inch is what I used. After this time, use a cheesecloth or clean kitchen towel. Add the vegetables and squeeze out the extra liquid. The courgette juice will be used for the batter. To the juice add in the flour, dried panko breadcrumbs, fresh thyme leaves, nutritional yeast and black pepper, whisk well it should look like pancake batter. Then add the vegetables back in and stir to coat. **If the batter seems very thick add a small dash of water.
Step 3: Pour the mix into the baking tray and use a spoon to smooth out evenly.
Step 4: Bake for 30-40 minutes until cooked through and golden on top.
Courgettes are part of the squash family that originate in North America. But did you know these tasty dark green beauties were only grown and developed in the second part of the 1900’s in Italy! And now they have adapted to Irish soil and grown happily in our fields.
Home grown courgettes taste delicious with cheddar cheese. These fritters take just minutes to prepare and minutes to cook. We made garlicky tzatziki sauce to serve with them. Eat them warm from the pan.
Drop a couple of Irish courgettes and cucumbers in your basket for this one.
Step 1: Coarsely grate the courgette and put it in a bowl. Add in the grated cheese, flour, salt and pepper. Give it a mix, whisk the egg and add that too.
Step 2: To make the tzatziki. Coarsely grate the cucumber put it in a sieve and squeeze out the extra liquid. Use this cucumber liquid for smoothies and juices. Add the grated cucumber to the yoghurt along with the finely grated garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper, mix.
Step 3: Warm a non stick frying pan, medium heat, on the hob. Drizzle some oil to coat. Add a tablespoon of the courgette mix, fit 3-4 on the pan. Cook for a few minutes, flip and cook for another few minutes until golden brown. Lift them off onto kitchen paper, repeat with the next batch.
Courgettes are such a versatile vegetable. They work in their raw state or taste delicious in sweet cakes and muffins or savoury when roasted or baked. Char grilled courgettes are sublime! It brings out the natural sweetness and adds that charred bitterness that works so great here.
Charred veg of any sort is delicious in a sandwich. There is no ham needed in this grilled cheese interpretation of the French classic Croque Monsieur – meaning Bite Mister or maybe its Mister Bite!
This glorious sandwich is worth all the effort.
Charred Courgette, spicy mustard, crunchy bread, creamy bechamel, grilled cheese = The ultimate indulgence at lunch time.
Get a griddle pan on the hob nice and hot- you can use a frying pan instead if you wish.
Wash and dry the courgette then slice it long ways keeping the slices about 5mm thick.
Spray or drizzle oil on the courgettes and when the griddle pan is smoking hot add the courgettes to get those nice charred bar marks.
Don’t move the courgettes for a couple of minutes. Then using a thongs lift and turn to do the other side.
Add to a plate to cool, repeat with the rest of the courgette slices.
To make the bechamel:
Add the milk, chopped onion, garlic, bay leaf, cloves and grated nutmeg to a pot and slowly bring the milk to the boil. Take off the heat immediately and leave to infuse for 10-20 minutes.
In another pot add the butter and flour and cook until it turns a golden brown colour, use a wooden spoon to stir it.
Strain the milk and whisk in gradually until you have a thickened sauce, check the seasoning and adjust if it needs something. Whisk and cook on a low heat for a further few minutes.
Add the sauce to a bowl and set to one side.
To make the mustard mayo. Simply mix the mayonnaise and mustard together in a small bowl.
To make the sandwich.
Heat the grill area of the oven.
To make one sandwich: Take 2 slices of sourdough and brush one side of each with melted butter. (If making for 2 people brush all 4 slices with butter now)
Grill the buttered sides until toasted.
In the meantime chop the grilled courgettes into thick pieces.
Take the sourdough from the grill and turn over the slices.
On one piece add a layer of mustard mayo, top with a spoon of bechamel sauce, then add a layer of grilled courgettes, top that with a handful of grated cheese. Put the second slice of sourdough on top. Add another layer of bechamel sauce and top that with grated cheddar cheese.
Return the generous sandwich to the grill – let it bubble and char and toast. Keep a watchful eye on it!
Take from the grill and cut in half with a bread knife!