Monday 13 August 2018

Monday 13th August - apple pressing and what to do with these courgettes?

Rain forecasted, but we are not put off. Just put a gazebo up to keep up  dry and cosy

With so many lovely sweet cherry tomatoes ready, having 10 people for lunch is a great opportunity to use them as a snack.  We made some mini tomato, basil, mozzarella kebabs

Caprese Salad Skewers

  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Mozzarella balls
  • Fresh Basil
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar  (we used our homemade blackberry balsamic vinegar)
  • salt and pepper
  1. Assemble, tomatoes, basil (roll from one end to the other), and mozzarella balls on medium-sized toothpicks. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  1. To make balsamic glaze, add one cup of balsamic vinegar to a sauce pan over medium heat. Once it comes to a boil, set on simmer for about 10-15 minutes until it reduces to a syrup consistency. You can check by dipping a spoon in the balsamic and if it covers the back of it, it's done. As it cools, it will thicken a bit more then drizzle on top of caprese salad skewers.


Apple Juice

With the apples being ready nearly 14 days earlier than last year, it threw me a little as this is normally a task AFTER holiday, so now thanks to some lovely helpers I will turn this batch of eaters and cookers into some tasty apple juice and can take some time off in the knowledge that when I come back some lovely juice is awaiting us.

As it is such a busy morning, we had a easy lunch. Courgette soup with feta and mint  with quick bread.  For the bread we used 220gr self raising flour, with a pinch of salt, 1/2 cup of natural yoghurt, and some water to make a good dough. In this case we also added some pressed garlic, but we could have used sundried tomatoes, olives too.

As a surprise the children brought a cake for us all to enjoy, it was so tasty that we asked Ruth for the recipe

  • 10ml vegetable oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1–2kg large courgettes, cut into big chunks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Sprig thyme
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 15g mint, finely chopped
  • 100g feta
  • Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil
  • Zest 1 unwaxed lemon
  • Chive flowers, to garnish (optional)
This simple soup tastes outstanding and when you have courgettes coming out of your ears, it feels like an achievement to eat so many in one go. Anyone can make it and it freezes well too. 
I know that, like me, my wife and son both really enjoy this (daily) soup, although the question, ‘How many courgettes did you use up?’ does sometimes make me wonder if I should give them the weekends off.
Gently heat the oil in your largest saucepan. Add the onions, garlic and courgettes with a generous sprinkling of salt. 
Cover with a lid just smaller than the pan, so it rests on the mountain of courgettes, pressing them down. 
Keep the heat low and allow to cook for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, so that all the courgette chunks get a turn at being on the bottom. 
Add the bay leaves and the sprig of thyme and allow to cook gently for a further ten minutes. 
Pour in the lemon juice, then replace the lid for about 15 minutes. The courgette chunks will start to break down and release their moisture. 
When all the courgettes have softened, there will be a considerable amount of liquid in the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and liquidise the contents until the soup is smooth. 
The courgette skins will create dark speckles, making a great visual contrast to the almost luminous paler green. 
Stir the mint into the soup before serving in individual bowls. 
Crumble a small handful of feta into the middle of each bowl, drizzle with the extra-virgin olive oil and finish with the lemon zest and a scattering of chive flowers, if you are using them.


  1. Itxaso Ortega 13 August 18:35
    We had a great morning today, Thank you very much Karina!!!!

  2. Thank you very much for today’s from spade to plate.
    I had a great time and it was also wonderful reunion.
    Specially crashing apples was first experience and enjoyed it.