Monday, 11 April 2011

Aunty Shura's Courgette Thing

It doesn't look much, but it's really very nice

You know how there are those people in your life who are good for only one thing? Like the friend who is excellent value only when you are at a party, or the one who is only good at deeply-felt heart-to-hearts, or the one who is only good for a massive bitch about a mutual acquaintance (you literally cannot find anything else in common to talk about). Or the one who is willing to be friends with you when you're single and depressed but once you're married and happy, forget it... and don't expect so much as a fucking CARD if you go and have a BABY!!!!!

I mean, for example.

The courgette is the one-trick-pony-friend of the the vegetable world. They are really only good for a couple of things and this recipe is one of them. It was brought into my life by a woman called Shura, who has been helping me out with the baby. And when I say helping me out, I mean she has been hammering Kitty into a routine that would be the envy of ghetto-born Russian ballerinas and Japanese piano-playing prodigies, while simultaneously preventing me from committing suicide.

Her gift is to acknowledge that both Kitty and I are only babies. "Chile," she'll say to me, "you've got yourself overtired. It's time to go to bed now."

And you know, she's always right.

She taught me how to cook this thing, which is really one of the only 1 or 2 interesting ways in the world to treat courgettes. It's very easy and is a really fantastic accompaniment to chicken or fish. It's also very nice on toast.

Aunty Shura's Courgette Thing

For 2 people (with some left over for spreading on toast)

4 courgettes
a LOT of olive oil
6 garlic cloves, crushed - do not, please, freak out at this mammoth quantity... yes it is quite garlicky, but it's all cooked so it's aromatic rather than scary.

1 Chop up the courgettes into pieces about the size of a 5p piece. However you want to do this is okay by me. I chop mine in half lengthways, then each half in half again and then chop along the lengths so you get little quarters

2 Dump into a saucepan and cover with olive oil. What you're looking for here is all the bits of courgette to be coated with oil and for there to be a small pool - or rather, actually, a thin layer - of oil along the bottom. The courgettes will give out a lot of water during cooking, so they don't need to be drenched, just robustly slathered.

3 Sprinkle over a very large pinch of salt and about 6 turns of the pepper grinder.

4 Throw in the crushed garlic and then cook this over a low heat for 1 hour with the lid on at a jaunty angle. That really is all there is to it.

Back in May. Ish.


  1. this sounds yum, i will make it for my husband who says courgettes are cucumber's evil cousin, but actually seems to quite like them when they are disguised with lots of garlic/chilli/tomatoey things.
    nice to see you back (ish), and hope all is well!

  2. Delighted to have a post to cheer the pitiless internet wasteland that is the web without Recipe Rifle. Counting down to May!

  3. Can I have Shura in November? I'm supposed to be having a Kitty of my own then and I'm very scared. Or will she be with you forever? Can't say I blame you if she is...


  4. Yay for a new post. I was morosely clicking 'just in case', expecting to be disappointed.

    Don't apologise for the garlic, courgettes need garlic, as they taste of very little themselves.

    I find thinly-slicing then griddling the best way to deal with courgettes, but it might just be that I like the stripey effect.

  5. Welcome Back! Hope baby land is fabulous. And love the courgette. I somehow find a way to eat it in everything these days.

  6. so glad you're back!!! i originally got overly excited on 1 April thinking that's when you were starting up again - i then waited a few days and still nothing... so i had to re-read your post about maternity leave only to realise that i had misread. sigh. So basically, thank you for this brief moment of inspiration and literary entertainment. I will try this courgette recipe pronto.

  7. Oh - Just seen the "Back in May" bit. You've shattered my hopes!

  8. Oh I hate all my friends... doesn't everyone? Your 'friend' didn't send you a card because she's shitting jealous of your lovely life.

    This sounds delicious, but can't we all borrow G and smear the leftovers on him instead?


  9. welcome back from baby madness lady!... I love a courgette, so I will of course be disagreeing with your premise that there are only two things to do with them... I can list at least 3

  10. Did you know you can use really big courgettes (ie marrows) as weapons against frenemies?
    Glad you are up to posting again, even if it's occasional.

  11. I'm literally about to have a baby (I'm due today...I'll be overdue in FORTY MINUTES), and I think I need a Shura...

  12. Yayyyyy! A Recipe Rifle post! I did a double-take when I saw it pop up. Can't wait for more in May.

  13. Pleased to hear you're still there, I actually really like a bit of courgette, I put them in most things that I cook, as a bulking agent if nothing else. I can really recommend courgettes and onions sauteed in olive oil, garlic, chilli, herbs and a bit of grated ginger (I know, totally out of place but adds an unidentifiable freshness) as a good 'sauce' for pasta! x

  14. This lady sounds like a blood relative of Margaret Thatcher. Just what a newborn needs to whip her into shape. I doubt Mrs T is/was (who knows what her capabilities are at present) as talented with courgette related cookery though.

    Please accept my apologies for this odd Thatcher peppered comment. I too am sleep deprived.

  15. Just made it. Bloody delicious. Thank you!

  16. I made this the other night and it was IMMENSE. However, my boyfriend came home 2 hours after I had made it and wanted to know why I had been cooking the world's stinkiest dinner. Rude.