Courgettes in red wine

First, let us praise the author for not ****ing about regarding the title of this book. Ms Elaine Hallgarten, freelance food and travel writer, is the creator of and contributor to many works, including the Jaffa Cookbook, Mince Matters, Cookery Do, The Yoghurt Cookbook, Gourmet’s Guide to London (1992 ed) and Reminiscences and Recipes of the Bakharian Jews of Samarkand. I’m not mocking her oeuvre  –  someone on Amazon has called Mince Matters an ‘excellent practical cookbook‘, something many, many cookbook writers fail to achieve (I should know).

Chapters contain recipes for soups and other starters, side and vegetable dishes, fish and meat dishes. The chapters on puddings  and sauces are particularly good. The final chapter on drinks includes not just classic cocktails and every variation of liqueur coffee, but also several summer punches, which I will definitely try if  we get enough good weather this year for me to fancy a change from Pimms (no sign of this yet). This book was published in 1980 by Hodder and Stoughton.

This book was obtained from Marie Curie charity shop on Green Lanes (N4) which has an excellent selection of books and is halfway between Baldwins Butchers and Yasar Halim.


As I was making only a portion for me, I made about a third of this recipe (1/2 a courgette). The wine used was Rioja (this one,  n.b. I bought it because it was red and cheap and only later found out it was Torygraph-approved). I tasted the dish before adding the lemon juice and subsequently decided not to add it at all.


This is a dish which laughs in the face of the notion of vegetables as a bland foil to exciting meat. I may have emphasised this by choosing to eat it with some plainly roasted chicken, but the mixture of flavours – sweet, smoky, grassy didn’t need any thing more exciting to compliment them. Grilled lamb would be just as good. As for eating it as a starter, I quite like the idea of having it on toast (wine-soaked toast – so vintage), but even more having it with some mozarella or ricotta.

Wine’d by Elly


6 responses to “Courgettes in red wine

  1. “Recipes of the Bakharian Jews of Samarkand” sounds intriguing – are you planning to review any of the recipes therein?

  2. While I think it sounds amazing, I don’t own it (yet!) and it’s out of the remit for the blog having been published in 2001.

  3. I want this cookbook. What year was it published?
    And, for those of us who are stateside, what in the world is a courgette? Is it zucchini?

  4. A courgette is indeed a zucchini! I’d never really thought about the historical roots of the U.K using the French word and the U.S using the Italian word until now.

    Have also updated post with publishing details (which I should have done originally, so thank you for bringing it to my attention).

  5. Cucumbers in rice wine, courgettes in red wine – you’ve got a theme going here . . .

  6. What can I say? I love a cucurbit!