Autumn Harvest – planting the unique

As this was my second year gardening vegetables, I put my hand to trying to grow more unusual vegetables.  As a Garden Virgin, I of course had varying success. However, I am very proud of having had a go with melons, various types of basil, sweet potatoes, and particularly Rond de Nice – round courgettes (or zucchini) to you and me.

Last year I planted straight courgettes, only 4 plants, but my oh my did I get a few courgettes. As did the neighbours, and the neighbours of the neighbours, the workmen, heck, anyone who dared come to our door. This year I planted Rond de Nice, mainly because I think they are prettier, but! and this is a big but, it turns out they also produce less and don’t (quiet) take over the garden.

It’s a little trickier figuring out what to do with them. The obvious is stuff them, and that is actually a delicious thing to do as they cook better than squashes this way, since they are softer and have a higher water content. But that can get a little boring after the 3rd time, particularly if you have quite a few of them. I did find you can actually cook them just as you would straight courgettes, cutting them up, ribboning them, whatever the needs are for a recipe.

One of my favourite recipes for courgettes is so very easy, takes about 5 minutes:

Ingredients:
courgette
olive oil
salt
sumac (substitute paprika if you don’t have sumac, though not quite as good)
sesame seeds

Using a potato peeler, peel your courgette (round or otherwise) into ribbons, skin and flesh, until you get to the seeds. Compost the seeded bit.

In a saucepan heat a tablespoon of olive oil on a medium heat. Toss in the courgette ribbons and stir around. Add a pinch of salt. Add a teaspoon of sumac, and stir into the courgette. Add the sesame seeds, and again stir. Stir loosely for about 2 minutes and serve.

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