Monday, 23 September 2013

#ShopLocal Courgette Flowers, Beets & Courgettes

I get a lot of my veg and practically all of my eggs from a local farm Fernieflatt at Kineff in Aberdeenshire. They deliver twice a week and I tend to order similar veg week in week out. However a few weeks ago I couldn't find their price list and ordering details so I looked up their website and spotted a range of seasonal veg on offer so decided to order up a few items that I've never actually cooked with before.

Cue a delivery of Courgette flowers, Purple Cauliflower, Yellow Courgette, Green Courgette, Golden Beet, Red Beet, Black Kale and a couple of dozen eggs from their fabulous Black Rock hens. With Fernieflatt Farm being only 13 miles down the coast from us it seemed a good opportunity to link this post up with a new blogging challenge hosted by Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary. In her own words #ShopLocal is a brand new food blogging challenge to promote your local food producers and share your recipes using their produce. This is the place to showcase the wonderful foods available where you live, where ever you live, worldwide.
The Courgette flowers have a very short shelf life so had to be used first. There was only one way to go. Stuffed and deep fried. I loosely based mine on this recipe but used mascarpone cheese, crab, lemon zest and chilli. Then deep fried in a beer batter. They were so fiddly to do. Life is indeed too short to stuff a courgette flower. Realised after the first couple that I would have been better to use a piping bag. They actually tasted pretty amazing so perhaps life isn't too short for them after all.
The remaining flowers were used to decadently top off a Three Cheese and Summer Vegatable Bake. They made an everyday supper look oh so pretty and tasted fantastic alongside mozzarella, ricotta and parmesan.
Courgettes themselves really lend themselves to vegetable bakes especially at this time of year when they have grown to gigantic proportions. Here's my take on a courgette, potato and onion bake. Great as a veggie main or an accompaniment to something meaty.

COURGETTE POTATO AND ONION BAKE
splash of rapeseed oil
2 large onions sliced
2 crushed garlic cloves
600g sliced potatoes
600g sliced courgette
tub of Elmlea single
paprika
grated cheddar
grated parmesan

Saute onions and garlic in oil until really soft. Parboil sliced potatoes for 5 minutes. Layer up onion, courgette, cheese, potato and repeat. Pour over the Elmlea (or cream) top with grated parmesan and a sprinkle of paprika.
Bake for 45 mins at 180 degrees.
I'd never come across golden beetroot before and their vivid colouring was no less impressive than their red relations. Both worked fantastically well in Scandinavian Style Baked Meatballs. The sour cream mixed through at the end produced a fantastically coloured sauce and made it seem like a very decadent dish. (I didn't bother with the caraway seed or the 2 Tbsp of double cream)
Golden Beets worked well on their own in a simple roasted veg side dish along with red onions, potatoes, fresh thyme a splash of garlic rapeseed oil and a scrunch of salt and pepper. I really must try growing my own beetroot in the veggie patch next year.
Purple Cauliflower next and this had such an amazingly vivid hue when cooking but alas by the time it had been converted into cauliflower, potato and cheese soup it looked somewhat sludgy grey. Still tasted good but lost its looks.
Lasty a sweet bake with courgettes which (along with beetroot) seem to crop up in a lot of cake recipes these days. Move over carrot cake. This was my first time baking with courgette and I opted for a Nigel Slater recipe for Courgette Cake with Apples and Pecans.
I doubled up the quantities to make one for me and one to give to friends. They were somewhat sceptical when presented with a courgette cake but were totally won over with the first bite. Fantastically moist and tasty. Practically all of your five a day in cake form. This is a loaf I will make again and again.
I'm linking up Mr Slaters Courgette Cake to the #DishOfTheMonth challenge hosted by Janice at Farmers Girl Kitchen It's the place to go every month for a round of of what seasonal Nigel Slater recipes bloggers have been cooking up. I've already noticed that I'm not the only one to have made the courgette cake as Dom from Belleau Kitchen has baked it too. Great minds. 
Two blogging challenges, lots of amazing seasonal and local vegetables and a couple of new ideas of what to plant in the veggie patch next year. Do investigate what produce farms local to you sell. I defy you to find such an amazingly colourful range in a supermarket. I've just ordered this weeks veggies and eggs from Fernieflatt and added Violetta tatties to my order. Purple skin and purple flesh. They have Rainbow Chard too. Puts a whole new slant on eating your greens.

4 comments :

  1. Oh my ... I am salivating and making a shopping list at the same time. These all look delicious!

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  2. I have a delivery from Fernieflatt each week. Mostly for his eggs which are fabulous. I made a purple cauliflower soup which my kids thought was raspberry mousse before they tasted it! You've definately given me some ideas for the veg I get!

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  3. Oh my you certainly do get creative with your veg box! What a fantastic selection of recipes and you're right, you can't get those colours in the supermarket, can you! Thank you for sharing with Shop Local :)

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  4. Delicious veg box medley! Vohn x

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