Seen at the Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Monday, 10 August 2015

Seasonal Recipe: Courgettes with Lemon and Thyme

Stir frying the courgettes
Stir frying the courgettes - you can see they're just beginning to brown. 

Our courgettes went from zero to glut within a week and our continuing trips away means I'm not keeping to my pick small and often philosophy. Faced with yet more courgettes reaching for marrowdom, I came up with this simple recipe which can be used in a number of ways.

It's inspired by my memories of holidays in Greece where walks to the beach were scented with wild thyme crushed underfoot and us brushing past lemon trees. It makes a change from the Italian twist I usually add to my courgette glut. You can adjust this flexible recipe to suit your circumstances.


  • 1 large courgette
  • Half a tablespoon good olive oil
  • Leaves stripped from 3-4 large sprigs of freshly picked thyme
  • Juice of 1 small unwaxed lemon ('cooked' on high for 20 seconds in a microwave to release the juices)
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Cut the courgette in half lengthways, then halve each half again. 
  2. Cut each quarter into small slices and place in a bowl
  3. Add the olive oil, thyme, lemon juice and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  4. Mix together well and leave to marinade for a few hours in the fridge, preferably overnight
  5. Take a large non-stick frying pan and heat to a high temperature
  6. Add the courgettes and stir fry until the courgettes are well browned

Serving ideas

  • Serve warm with grilled salmon and boiled new potatoes
  • Serve warm or cold to accompany a salad

Quiche made with courgettes with lemon and thyme


  • I didn't have a lemon, so I used a few large dollops from the tube of lemongrass paste I keep in the fridge to replace it and the olive oil. Chopped lemon verbena or lemon balm leaves should also work well with a tablespoon of olive oil
  • Add a handful of pine nuts to the stir fry for the last few minutes to add a crunchy, nutty bite
  • Sweat a finely chopped onion in a non-stick frying pan before adding an equal amount of marinaded courgette, then stir fry until the courgettes are soft to make a filling for a quiche or omlette

For more glutbuster courgette recipes, see my Easy Recipe Finder.

PS It's National Allotments Week - so this post forms a personal celebration with the produce from my plot.


  1. It sounds delicious, I'll definitely try this one. And I'll put some in a quiche as well. I know exactly what you mean about them suddenly going from zero to glut, happens every year. There are some super-sized marrow sized ones in the allotment's "Free Stuff" place at the moment. Also happens every year. And no-one's brave enough to take one! I'm growing yellow ones this year, they seem to be a little slower which gives me a fighting chance.

    1. Thanks CJ, thyme is such a good herb and its flavour goes well with courgette. We have the same "free stuff" courgette pile at our allotment at the moment ;) I haven't tried growing yellow ones yet, your thoughts on their slower growth rate is food for thought...

  2. Mmm, this sounds lovely. Herbs and lemon are such summery flavours! I'd love this in a salad. Now all I have to do is wait and see if my one courgette plant (playing it safe this year!) is ever going to fruit. I transplanted it rather late and I fear I'll be courgette-less this year. I like the thought of CJ's yellow courgettes. I tried growing those last year and they got slugged. Thank goodness for next year, eh!

    1. Fingers crossed for you Caro, though be careful what you wish for!

  3. Mmm, this sounds tasty. I love courgettes and, of course, have the usual glut so I'll definitely give it a try.

  4. Thanks Matt and welcome to Veg Plotting. We've just had the Quiche versin for tea - recommended :-)

  5. Its great to see ways to use courgette as they're a veg that often seem limited in terms of cooking. I like the stir fry you've done.

  6. Some fabulous ideas that I will be bookmarking...thanks!

    1. Brilliant Donna - looking forward to seeing what you make of them :)


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