Slow-cooked Courgettes with Mint, Chilli & Almonds
The courgette, like the aubergine, is something the Italians understand well. They know that liberal oil is the key to unlocking the sweet nuttiness of this water-heavy vegetable. In this recipe, the courgettes are cooked long and slow, in plenty of olive oil, with a sprinkling of dried chilli and lots of finely sliced garlic. The resulting luxurious mush is delicious on its own, served with a scattering of mint and some nibbed toasted almonds as a stand-alone dish, or as a silky bed on which to pile pork chops or roast chicken. After eating them like this, you’ll never think ill of a courgette again.
I love mint here, but any soft herb is good (dill, tarragon, basil or parsley).
I can taste almonds in courgettes. If you taste this combination maybe you will not think me completely mad.
5 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 dried chilli, crumbled, or a pinch of chilli flakes
A handful of chopped mint
30g almonds, toasted and chopped roughly
Slice the courgettes in half lengthways, then into crescents. Finely slice the garlic. Heat the oil in a heavy saute pan, and then add the garlic and the courgettes. Add the chilli and saute over a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, so that the courgettes begin to take some colour and caramelize. Aften a few minutes or so, when a fair few of the courgettes have caramelized, place the lid of the pot on and turn the heat down. Cook for another ten minutes, strirring occasionally. (If they begin to catch add a splash of water). Taste and season. Add the chopped herbs at the last minute and serve. Best eaten at room temperature, with crusty bread and cheese.