Courgette polpette

Courgette polpette - sneaky veg
Courgette polpette - sneaky veg

Ah, the courgette. I've tried this in many, many different recipes and still not managed to get either of my children to eat one. On the other hand we went camping a couple of weekends ago with another family whose two-year-old ignored all the sausages at a barbecue and tucked into the charred courgettes and aubergines so it is possible for small children to love their vegetables!

My pregnancy sickness has nearly gone now but I'm still struggling slightly with green food. Yes, that's right, a vegetarian cook and indeed lover of all green veg, went completely off of anything green for around two months. So when two lovely courgettes (one green and one yellow) arrived in my Local Greens veg bag this week I was a little unsure what to do with them. I didn't feel ready to eat them grilled, which is what I'd usually do with such lovely, young veg, but they seemed too good to put in a cake.

And then I remembered courgette polpette, a recipe that I've been wanting to make for ages both to try for myself and for this blog. They were absolutely delicious and D and I both scoffed loads of them. The children of course wouldn't try them, but so many people have told me that their children love these that I felt justified in including them here. They'd also be really good for baby led weaning, so I'm going to enter them into August's Family Foodies competition, which is all about food for the under 2s. Family Foodies is hosted by Eat Your Veg and Bangers & Mash. It's definitely one I'm going to try when this third child of ours is being weaned - I'll be hoping for third time lucky with the vegetable eating! This recipe is adapted from a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe I found on the Guardian website.

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
2 largish courgettes, peeled and grated (peeling is optional but might be worth considering if the green skin is unpopular with your children)
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp parmesan
1 ball of mozzarella, chopped into small pieces
50g white breadcrumbs
1 tbsp parsley (optional, this is worth leaving out if your children are fussy about green bits)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
Salt and pepper (optional and salt best left out for under ones)

Heat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Grease a large non-stick baking tray. It's worth doing this well as mine all stuck anyway (or maybe I just need to buy a new baking tray!).

Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the courgettes and fry until starting to turn golden brown, stirring often to avoid sticking. Drain on kitchen paper to soak up some of the moisture. Allow the courgettes to cool a little.

Meanwhile, place all the other ingredients into a large bowl. Mix the cooled courgettes with the other ingredients, season to taste, then form into small balls (around 12). Place on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown. Can be served hot or cold. I'm entering this post into the following blogging challenges:

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