HARVEST time comes round again. There is apparently a glut of courgettes this year, or so my Vicar says. Try out this Courgette and chicken lasagne if you have some to hand. Goat’s cheese can be used instead of feta here; and turkey, pork, or veal mince in place of chicken.
2kg (4 lb) courgettes
1 onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed or finely chopped
450g (1 lb) chicken mince
1 teaspoon dried thyme
350g jar of black olives (160g/6 oz drained)
1 small glass of white wine
60g (2 oz) butter
juice of half a lemon
400g (14 oz) feta cheese
2 teaspoons cornflour
500g (1 pt) Greek yogurt
handful each of parsley and dill
100g (3 oz) grated cheddar or Parmesan
Top and tail the courgettes and slice them lengthways, then boil in salted water for three minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Fry the onion and garlic in olive oil until golden, then add the chicken and thyme and cook until coloured. Reduce the heat, add the olives, pour over the wine, stir and simmer until it is absorbed — about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, and stir in the butter and lemon juice.
Pour a little olive oil into the base of a large baking dish, then line with a layer of courgettes. Spoon over the mince-olive mix and crumble some feta cheese on top. Season, then repeat the layers until the mince and courgettes have all been used, finishing with courgettes on top.
Beat the eggs with the cornflour, then stir gently into the yogurt with the chopped herbs. Pour this on top of everything in the dish, finishing with the grated cheese. Bake for 30 minutes at 375°F/190°C/Gas 5.
Summer holidays have not been as usual with travel restrictions; so a dash of lemony Mousse Ste-Brigitte from Brittany may help bring a little cheer.
300ml (10 fl. oz) double cream
240g (8 oz) lemon curd
1 lemon (zest and juice)
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
90g (3 oz) caster sugar
Beat together the cream and the lemon curd to soft peaks. Stir in the lemon juice and nutmeg; set on one side. Separate the eggs. Beat the yolks with the sugar until soft and fluffy. Fold in the lemon-curd cream. Then clean the beaters and whisk the egg whites until firm; fold them in incorporating all.
Pour into glasses or small bowls, scatter the lemon zest over the top, and refrigerate for at least three hours. Serve with a sandy-type “sablé” biscuit or a finger of shortbread.