Late summer is a busy time for growers as gardens and allotments begin to heave with the weight of excess produce. Now is the season for courgettes, onions, garlic, beans of all kinds, peas, salad leaves, tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, beetroots, carrots, cabbages, kale, chard, sprouting broccoli, cauliflowers, blackberries, raspberries, plums, plus a range of herbs!
With this abundance comes the issue of gluts and having to keep up with the excess. Jam making, chutney making, wine and cordial making, pickling and drying become common activities and freezers are filled with the fruit and veg that we don’t have time to process. Some local businesses also accept seasonal gluts in exchange for produce e.g. Filberts Bakery will exchange bags of excess vegetables for bread.
Here are two recipes I use to deal with gluts:
1. Stuffed courgettes!
To serve three you will need 6 courgettes; 6 large tomatoes; 1 large onion finely chopped; 2 cloves garlic crushed; 1 tablespoon of oil; 12 dessert spoons of rice; a handful of chopped mint; a handful of cheese cut into cubes; salt, pepper and oregano to taste.
Slice the tops off the courgettes and hollow them out. Set the courgette tops aside for later. Cut the tomatoes into fine pieces and set aside one quarter for later. Put the courgette flesh and three quarters of the tomatoes into a bowl with all the other ingredients and mix. Stuff the courgettes with this mix and place the courgette tops back on- like lids. Place the courgettes on a baking tray and drizzle with oil and the remaining tomato flesh. Place them in the oven (at 180 degrees centigrade) for approximately half an hour (until the rice is cooked). Serve with bread and a seasonal salad.
To serve 4 people you will need is one onion sliced, 2 cloves of garlic crushed, 5 large potatoes diced, about 300g+ of green beans, 6 ripe tomatoes, oil or butter for frying and salt, pepper and oregano to taste.
Heat the oil or butter in a large saucepan and fry the onions until translucent. Add the garlic and fry gently for approximately one minute. Add the diced potatoes and fry until slightly ‘fluffy’. Add the tomatoes and fry until they break up and go mushy. Add the green beans and water (until roughly three quarters of the potatoes are covered). Add salt, pepper and oregano to taste and simmer until the liquid has reduced and the potatoes are ready. Serve with bread.
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