Yes, I’m still at it, preserving any and all gluts from the holding. No fruit, vegetable or herb is safe from the possibility of appearing in a pickle, preserve, or being put into the dehydrator.
This week, I’ve turned my attention to the courgette, which is a vegetable plant that can easily swamp one with its bounty. I always have too many plants because I cannot resist having a range of courgette shapes, (cylinders and spheres), and colours, (different greens, yellow, striped…).
I’ve found that the secret to keeping a courgette avalanche at bay is to pick the vegetables when they are relatively small. Of course, this is the plan, but things, invariably, don’t turn out that way. This week, when I’d exhausted swopping the vegetables for other provisions with my neighbours, I made ‘bread and butter’ refridgerator pickles with sliced courgettes instead of cucumbers, (recipe used, here).
500g of courgette with pickling liquor fills about 3-4 pound jars, so making these can substantially diminish a courgette oversupply. The pickles are ready to eat after a couple of days and can keep for a few months in the fridge. Ours are all consumed well before then. They are delicious with bread and cheese and are a good substitute for gherkin with a burger. I’m in no doubt that I’ll be making another batch soon.
In the tunnel, the tomatoes are starting to ripen. I picked a bowl of the large ‘Cuore di Bue’ fruit.
Time to start making tomato sauce!
Succession sowing ….I’ve never really mastered it. Every single year I think to myself – this is the year. And without fail something gets in the way of the planning and preparation. So given that this year, yet again, I’ve failed miserably we have arrived at the point of produce glut. On the bright side it provides the opportunity to experiment with different ways of cooking or, even better, preserving. The Golden Nugget cherry tomatoes I’ve sprinkled with fresh chopped garlic and oregano and oven dried. They can be eaten as a snack or stored under extra virgin olive oil.
Gleaming necklaces of red currants – easy, easy; picked and frozen to be mixed with strawberries, black currants, autumn raspberries, and blackberries for a late summer, summer pudding.
Of course the real challenge, is the courgette. The glut monster; the butt of many an allotment joke – the vegetable that just doesn’t know when to call it a day. This year I’m ready – and first up I’m going to give this recipe from http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/8062/courgette-chutney.aspx a whirl:
- 1kg courgette
- 1 tart apple, peeled and cored
- 1 medium onion
- 1 green pepper
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 250g dark brown soft sugar
- 250ml white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh root ginger
- 1 tablespoon English mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red chilli flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Prep:30min › Cook:45min › Ready in:1hr15min
- Peel courgette and discard any large seeds; chop into small pieces.
- Finely chop apple, onion and green pepper; place in a casserole along with courgette and remaining ingredients. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, over medium heat until thick, about 45 to 55 minutes, stirring often. Cool. Ladle into jars; cover and refrigerate.
Bring it on…..