“This month we’ve spent over half of our time on the Phipps Bridge Community Garden watering and harvesting. The sheer volume of vegetables can be quite daunting – could you eat 20 kilos of large courgettes and 3 kilos of lettuce? – and once we’ve all taken as much as we want for ourselves and our friends and neighbours we often give a good load of things to the Salvation Army and other organisations which feed people in need.
I recently discovered that lettuce makes very good soup (thank you for the tip Sandra) which is delicious hot or cold. You can even make it with lettuces which have bolted – when they shoot up tall and prepare to make flowers and seeds.”
Community Gardening Champion
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped or put through a garlic press
A good knob of butter
1 tsp ground corriander
1 large potato, diced
500g washed and coarsely chopped lettuce
¾ litre vegetable stock, which can be made with bouillon or a stock cube.
Sweat the onion gently in the butter for about 5 mins. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. Stir in the corriander and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir well, Simmer for about 20 minutes until the potato is soft. Remove from the heat. When slightly cooler put in a blender. Season to taste.
There are a surprising number of things you can do with courgettes, even large ones. They can be stuffed with a savoury mushroom or lentil mix. Finely sliced courgettes (large or small) make a delicious accompaniment to a main dish if you fry them with olive oil and garlic. Grated courgette can be frozen if you are presented with a glut of large ones. Fritters, thickening for tomato sauces are savoury ideas, and you can put them in cakes too.
Courgette Cake – for two 20cm sandwich tins
125ml veg oil
150g castor sugar
225g self raising flour (or use plain flour plus 1 tsp baking powder)
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
250g finely grated courgette
For a chocolate cake – add 50g cocoa to the flour
For a lime, lemon or orange cake – add the rind and half the juice of a lime/lemon/orange to the sugar
Beat together the eggs, oil and sugar till creamy. Stir in the flour and bicarbonate of soda. Finally stir in the grated courgette and mix thoroughly. Pour into the prepared sandwich tins and bake at 180/160 fan for 25 to 30 minutes until well risen and golden. Leave 5 minutes in the tin then cool on a rack and fill with jam (eg lime marmalade) or butter cream icing.