The end of summer produce in the veg patch is quite like the beginning. I remember being very excited to pick the first tiny courgettes and their flowers in June to fill with ricotta and herbs or just simply fry them as tempura. Now in mid October I have been doing the same. Just a few new ones are growing after the glut of summer, when I was wondering if I could ever keep up with the cooking and eating. I know I shouldn’t have planted so many seeds but one is so proud of the little plants that sprout from the nursery pots that it is hard to be brutal and not plant them all out. Immenent first frosts though, at the end of this month will bring it all to an end.
In the meantime as well as stuffed courgette flowers and tempura I have been making end of summer minestrone to serve with sourdough bread, kimchee, for a good winter store staple using the oversized ones plus a rather good green lasagne. Here the pasta is replaced with strips of courgettes and layered up with a very cheesy mixture of feta and cottage cheeses and lots of grated parmesan and pesto. Children and adults alike have devoured this delicious concoction. It’s greeness is reinforced by a chopped kale and parmesan crust. Super healthy !
Green Lasagne slightly modified from Vladia Cobrdova’s innovative new book A Whole New Way to Eat.
Slice 3-4 large courgettes into long strips. Crush 200g feta cheese in a bowl using a fork and stir in 300g cottage cheese and 100g grated parmesan cheese. Season well with 2 tsp basil pesto and 2 crushed garlic cloves. Finally stir in 125ml natural yoghurt. Season with pepper. It may not need salt.
Lightly oil a medium sized gratin dish and layer up the strips of courgettes and cheese mixture as you would layer up a lasagne. Scatter over 100g spinach leaves as you go with each courgette layer. Bake at 180C for 30-40 minutes.
Finally scatter over 1 cup of finely chopped kale mixed with a tablespoon each of parmesan and olive oil. Increase the oven temperature to 225C and bake for 10 minutes until crispy. Serve warm after leaving the dish to cool off a little.