Courgettes are horrible. They’re slimy, soggy and wholly unpleasant. Aubergines are similar.
Having been a vegetarian for most of my life, this severely restricted my options. Imagine my horror when on a trip with friends, they had gone out of their way to cook a vegetarian dish and, you guessed it: aubergine and courgette gratin.
Being a nice person, I didn’t say anything, but quietly sat concocting ways in which I would be able to get away with not eating it. But we were on a narrow boat – no escape (and no alternative food).
So, crammed around a tiny pull out table, the meal was served. There was a healthy smattering of cheese on the top (always good) and so I took a deep breath and got stuck in.
You know what?
It wasn’t half bad! After I realised that I wasn’t going to be lingering emaciated half way down the Wolverhampton canal, I shared my fears with my friends. They laughed.
It led me to start think about why I thought I didn’t like courgettes and aubergines and why I had avoided them for so many years? When had I eaten them?
- School. I was at school way before Jamie Oliver and his school dinner reform. They managed to disguise even the most potentially appetising meals under a layer of sludge. Nothing was ever undercooked and had been sat fermenting in a warm vat for at least half an hour before I ate it.
- Home (Sorry mum). Now please don’t get me wrong – my mother is a good cook. She has a wide range of meals at her disposal and she does them all incredibly well. Especially lasagna. She’s really good at that. And her roast dinners are second to none. But she, like everyone else, has had her share of experimental disasters: fish lasagna. Now, being a vegetarian, I managed to get out of eating that one – but I have it under good authority that it was pretty rank. Now I have a vague memory (although it might be repressed) from my early vegetarian days of a ratatouille. I think it was quite slimy.
Anyway, armed with my fresh knowledge that aubergines and courgettes are, in fact, tasty, I set on my quest to find out the best way to cook them. I’ll focus on courgettes here. I’ll leave aubergines for another day. So, how to cook courgettes:Continue Reading