There’s a film crew filming in the school polytunnel and, as I lean idly against the door watching our children talk candidly to a reporter, my heart swells with pride. I gaze at them and smile and as I do so something suddenly catches my eye. Nestled amongst the huge green leaves that fill the corner bed is something big, green and round.
“That’s funny” I think to myself “I’m sure I planted courgettes in there?”
I can’t investigate further because there are more interviews to conduct and filming to do so I make a mental note to investigate the next day. This doesn’t happen because the situation has snowballed and my day is taken up with interviews with the press, photographs, discussions on drive time radio; I go home exhausted and the ‘weird thing’ is forgotten about…..until now.
It’s seven am and there is a radio reporter waiting to broadcast live from the school polytunnel. She is blown away by the produce we are growing; fresh basil, salad rocket, tomatoes, and then I remember the ‘weird thing.”
We do the breakfast broadcast and I head over to the corner bed to investigate. I part the thick, spiky leaves and call over the presenter to have a look.
“Oooh ” she exclaims “what the heck is THAT!”
I establish that it is in fact a round courgette that has been surreptitiously growing without anyone noticing. There are smaller fruits growing round it so I give it a twist and a tug and another twist and it finally breaks off in my hands.
We look at it in awe.
We take it in turns to hold it, turning it around to marvel at its form.
Then comes the question
“What do you do with it?”
For me that’s the best bit of discovering a new or different vegetable, finding out what to do with it.
It’s a good size so naturally I want to stuff it. Perhaps a mixture of roasted vegetables with rice or cous cous maybe?
I opt for the latter.
I drizzled with olive oil and roasted;
6 small tomatoes, chopped in half
3 large garlic cloves
Half a red onion
Half an orange pepper
After twenty minutes in a hot oven they were nicely done.
While the veg was roasting I cut off the top the courgette, scooped out and discarded the seedy bit then scooped around the edge and saved the flesh. This I chopped up and fried in hot coconut oil. Meanwhile I added hot water to 75 grams of cous-cous and stirred. When the water was absorbed I chucked the cous cous in the pan with the courgette, a large sprig of time, a chopped chilli(very hot) and some lemon zest, I then added the roast veg.
After a few minutes of sizzling and with my kitchen smelling amazing I filled the courgette with the mix, added lemon juice, salt and pepper and a large sprinkling of cheese before popping it in the oven for twenty minutes to cook.
It’s just come out, piping hot and it looks amazing! I’m tucking into it and, oh it’s nice, it’s very nice. The chilli is coming through, blended with the cheese and the thyme has done good job joining the flavours.
It’s a large courgette and I should probably share it but …there’s no one around so perhaps I’ll just accompany it with a cheeky glass of something white and chilled….