Summer's Cookin'

My final twixt season post is a selection of new recipes I've enjoyed over the summer which have made the best of my garden's produce. No-one's told my vegetables it's autumn yet, in fact I'm only just coming up to peak tomato...

A hearty bowl of Egyptian courgettes with dukkah sprinkles

First up is Good Food's Egyptian Courgettes with Dukkah Sprinkle. As you can see it makes good use of tomatoes as well as courgettes. The dukkah sprinkle on top was a revelation and the whole dish bursts with delicious flavours. I served this both hot and cold depending on the weather, and I expect the warm version will begin to hold sway as we head off into proper autumn.

I omitted the recipe's butter beans (can't stand them) and peas (didn't have any) and increased the number of courgettes and tomatoes in the recipe to compensate and ensure it continued to deliver the recipe's claimed 4 out of 5 a day. I didn't have any almond flakes, so I substituted some roughly chopped whole, skin-on almonds instead. This is a great dish to pull out of the bag if you find your friends or family are having to watch their diet (pre-diabetic or gluten-free), or are vegetarian or vegan.

My version of bruschetta aka pa amb oli in Mallorca

My current tomato glut brought back warm memories of a meal at Carluccio's in Covent Garden earlier this year on the eve of Chelsea Flower Show. There we feasted on the new-season's tomatoes and the flavour was so intense, we would have been happy to just have their bruschetta all evening. It's another glutbuster dish which also brought back memories of making pa amb oli with Margalida in Mallorca nearly 20 years ago, where she described it as cocina pobre. There is nothing poor about the flavours in this dish.

The recipe I've followed most closely this time is Good Food's Tomato Bruschetta. I don't cope very well with raw onion, so this was omitted in my version. This recipe reveals the secret of the intense tomato flavour: the ingredients are left to mingle and complement each other for at least an hour before eating. Whatever you do, don't chop the basil as it says in the recipe. Seeds of Italy's Paolo says this is the best way to turn your basil black. Simply tear it up into the mixture instead.

As well as using up oodles of tomatoes, it's a great way of using up stale bread and any overripe tomatoes which you might otherwise consider adding to the compost heap. The extra juiciness of the tomatoes gives the bread a second life. Sourdough is my favourite.

Sadly no photo this time, but I must tell you about my new favourite omelette combination: courgette, feta and thyme. You need 160g of courgettes for two people, which are chopped into cubes if large, or into rounds if small. Gently sweat these in a little olive oil in a large non-stick pan until golden.

Then add four (for breakfast) or six (for lunch or supper) beaten eggs to the pan. Crumble in enough feta to fill the spaces between the courgettes, then sprinkle over some fresh thyme leaves and coarsely ground black pepper just before the egg sets.

Serve on its own for breakfast or with lashings of salad to make a main meal.

And finally, I have no idea what made me, but I'm glad I did. In the absence of fresh basil for my bruschetta this week (it died), and no fresh coriander for guacamole last week (that died as well), I decided to substitute the equivalent amount of fresh mint to each dish.

Believe me, it works.

Which ingredient substitutes (herbs or otherwise) work for you?


  1. Great "glut" ideas! I'm always trying to come up with recipes that use the variety of fresh produce from the garden. The hard bit around here is making something everyone likes - one likes beans, the other can't stand them. The same with tomatoes, but the other way around. And squash? I'm the only one that seems to enjoy it. Oh well, at least I'm set for my lunches over the winter out of the freezer & pantry stores :)

    1. I've been pondering that since I posted Margaret. These recipes are touching on what I have rather than what I need. I've loved going to places like River Cottage and The Pig, where the emphasis is on 'oooh what goodies do we have and what shall we do with them today?'. Innovative and delicious results with I'm sure much less food waste :)

  2. I find that coriander quickly runs to seed. I had lots of it so chopped and froze it. I use sweet chilli sauce in stir fries as I don’t buy soy sauce.

    1. Mine for some reason was a very poor producer this year, it didn't even get to run to seed! I'm beginning to think I have a problem batch of compost because I have a sage going the same way. I like the idea of sweet chilli sauce - I'll try that in our next stir fry :)


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