Pan-roasted courgette with herby sauce
It’s that time of a year, when courgettes are coming to you via different channels at a fast rate and then are quickly forgotten while gathering mould in your fridge drawer or a dark corner of your kitchen counter. I think you’ll agree that we could always do with one more good courgette recipe.
Pan-roasting is an easy technique that I first learned from chef Thomas Keller and his masterclass. It turns courgettes into something rather delicious. There are some key steps to the process such as scoring and salting the courgette to draw out moisture. This prevents them from being soggy and flavourless. Frying them in the pan and then roasting them will help them caramelise and enhance its sweetness.
- 1 average size courgette
For the herby sauce:
- a handful of green herbs such as basil, dill, mint, chervil, parsley, corriander, thyme
- 1tbsp capers or olives
- 1.5 tbsp of olive oil (cold press preferably)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice or 0.5 tsp vinegar
- sea salt
Slice the courgette in half, and then score the flesh diagonally.
Generously sprinkle some salt and set courgettes aside for around 15 minutes. Soon you should start seeing little droplets on its surface. This is a sign of salt drawing moisture from inside the courgette. Squeeze courgettes so that water starts to run, and dry it with a kitchen or tea towel.
Preheat the oven on for 200C.
Heat a cast iron pan (or a regular pan), and add some cooking oil. When the oil is hot, put courgette halves flesh side down. Fry for around 5 minutes, until you can see the dark marks of diagonal lines.
If using a cast iron pan, transfer it to the oven, otherwise, transfer fried courgettes, flesh side down, onto ovenproof dish, and cook for around 20 minutes, or until it’s soft.
Courgettes cooked in this way will be nicely caramelised, and not soggy as the salt has drawn the moisture out.
Chop the herbs finely. Chop capers or olives, and mix in with herbs. Add olive oil and lemon juice or vinegar. Dress courgettes once they are cooked. Skanaus!