The days are getting shorter and the sun is setting earlier in the west. The sun is finally shining, as predicted! The roads are lined with scarlet fucsia, orange montbrecia and up in Donegal the indomitable heather covers the mountains and valleys alike. Blackberries, rose hips, sloe berries, and hazelnuts are ready for picking along the hedgerows. Traveling through West Cork I marvel at the green of the meadows. I notice how the cows are such communal animals, standing, sitting, always in pairs or groups. They glisten in the sun after two months of grey skies and steady rain. Was that a smile on that Kerry cow’s face? It certainly is on this new little donkey, and I bet Fina is smiling, too!
As the saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun. But, I think a season flies by when you’re busy and having fun. Hopefully, those two go together. Such was my experience this summer as I was busy cooking vegetarian meals at the Boghill Centre, cooking foods from recipes in my cookery book Coming Home To Cook and selling them at the Kilrush and Doolin Farmers Markets. I learned a lot more about Irish vegetables and organic gardening and wild edibles. I helped to organize two successful events for the markets (see August and July posts), gave some cookery demos, radio interviews and even started taping a radio cooking show for Radio Corca Baiscinn in West Clare. All of that with frequent visitors from the states and even a Sheehan family reunion thrown in, made for a great season, despite another summer of rain! Now, it’s time to regroup and get ready for my cookery demos at Irish Seed Savers Apple Harvest Day and The 3rd Annual Dingle Food Festival. And, yes, starting to get serious about the next book! Here’s a recipe that will surely make the pages of that one. The gardens are now full of squashes, kale, spinach and chards. The filling can be used for eggplant (aubergine) rollatini, stuffed kale or chard and for stuffing marrows or any kind of squash. Just steam or roast any of those, wrap or roll and bake. Here’s the one I call Courgette Timbales. It is gluten free
Filling: 1/4 cup raisins or sultanas soaked in 2 Tbl. balsamic vinegar, 1 lb.chopped, steamed fresh spinach, 1/4 cup sliced black olives, 1/2 cup soft goat cheese, 1/4 cup chopped sundried tomatoes, sea salt and pepper to taste. Mix all together and put in refrigerator to set and cool.
Sauce: Finely chop 2 cloves of garlic and brown in a little olive oil. Add two 14 oz. cans of whole peeled tomatoes, 2 Tbl. minced mint leaves, sea salt and pepper to taste.
Courgettes: Slice courgetes or marrow into 1/4″ slices. Drizzle with a little oil and lay on baking sheet. Roast in a 180 (350) oven for 5 minutes or until they begin to soften.
To Assemble: Pour tomato sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Layer courgette with fillng as shown in photograph. Bake for 30 minutes. Garnish with your favorite herbs.