Spiced courgettes. Why I cook
It’s Saturday night. The last day of the weekend here in the U.A.E. I’ve spent the previous day in the kitchen cooking for fifteen. We’ve stayed up late. Tempted by some beautiful wines, perhaps I had a glass too many and now feel jaded. Up early this morning, I’ve driven to Abu Dhabi and back. The supermarket shop has been done, I’ve chauffeured veggie teen to clarinet. By suppertime I’m spent; sunken into an armchair; unable to move. KP comes back from golf. “What are we having for supper?” This enquiry washes over me. “I’ll just sort myself out.” he says.
I heave myself up from the armchair, find a board, a knife and an onion; soon I’m cooking again. I’m not motivated by my love of cooking. It’s my love of eating and I want simple, tasty, comforting food.
Within half an hour last night’s left over moussaka is reheated. There is a dish of pasta, some steaming new potatoes, a bowl of fresh tomatoes, some mushrooms fried in butter and a big bowl of new season, organic local courgettes. Sliced, softened, spiced, stewed with tomatoes and mushrooms. This is why I cook. Houseguest, KP and veggie (vegan) teen dig in. Every forkful is worth it.
This is loosely based on something my friend W makes. Her courgettes are absolutely divine. This is not an exact recipe, more an idea of a tasty supper dish so tweak to your own tastes.
Turmeric courgettes with mushrooms and tomatoes
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped finely
- 4-5 small courgettes, sliced
- 100g mushrooms, quartered
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- sea salt and black pepper
- Warm the oil over a medium heat in a saucepan or casserole with a lid (I use a Le Creuset enamelled one). Saute the onions until they are soft but not brown.
- Increase the heat slightly and stir fry the courgettes so they start to colour in places. Repeat with the mushrooms.
- Add the garlic and cook until you smell the aroma, follow with the spices, stirring briefly to cook out the raw taste.
- Finally pour in the chopped tomatoes, bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the courgettes are tender and the tomato sauce slightly reduced (around 20 minutes). Season to taste.
What motivates you to cook? And what’s your go-to dish when you’ve run out of energy?