Best enjoyed between the months of June and October, courgettes are the perfect vehicle for taking your cooking from summer into autumn. A versatile yet budget-friendly staple, they are equally delicious served raw, fried, roasted or even in cake.
So, from comforting courgette fritto, courtesy of Brighton’s Tutto, to Acme Fire Cult’s grilled trombetta courgettes (elevated with the addition of a vadouvan butter) there’s something for everyone.
Recipe from: Tutto ,Brighton
6 large green courgettes
Salt and pepper
Extra flour for dusting
For the batter:
200g gluten-free self-raising flour
2g ground cumin
2g onion powder
Deep fryer (or deep frying pan and a thermometer)
Using a bowl and whisk, mix all the dry ingredients for the batter.
To prevent lumps, add half the water to create a smooth slurry, then add the rest and whisk to an even consistency.
Slice the courgettes at an angle into long discs approximately 3-5mm thick.
Set the deep fryer to 180C.
Dust the courgettes lightly with some extra gluten-free flour and shake off the excess.
Submerge in the batter, drip off the excess, and gently fry for 45 seconds on each side. Once golden brown, drain onto paper towel.
To finish, arrange onto a plate, drizzle with honey and season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with grated pecorino and chopped fresh rosemary.
Serve with a lemon wedge.
Grilled trombetta courgettes with vadouvan butter
Recipe from: Daniel Watkins, chef and co-founder at Acme Fire Cult, London
For the courgettes:
4 trombetta courgettes
For the vadouvan butter (makes a portion for 8; freeze half):
400g dairy-free butter
11g madras curry powder
6g each of the following:
Red chilli, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
Peel of 1 orange
2 inch ginger finely chopped
For the chickpea purée:
800g tinned chickpeas
5 tbsp olive oil
2 bay leaves
1 tsp thyme leaves
Juice of half a lemon
Confit garlic (optional)
For the tofu whip:
1 pack silken tofu
Juice of 1 lemon
For the trombetta courgettes:
Simply wash and cut down into the desired portion size.
Add a little olive oil and seasoning.
Grill all sides until they start to soften, depending on temperature of fire. Trombettas lend themselves really well to live flames.
For the vadouvan butter:
Sweat down shallots and all the other ingredients, cook out slowly (without colour) for approximately 2-3 hours.
Take off the heat and let it stand for 30 minutes.
Once the mix has cooled a little, place the mix in a high speed blender until smooth.
Taste, check the seasoning and add a little salt.
This can be frozen and makes for a great accompaniment for most vegetables but particularly works well with the courgettes.
For the chickpea purée:
Boil the chickpeas in a pan of water with the bay leaves and thyme (approximately 30 mins).
Drain the chickpeas, keeping back 2 tablespoons of the cooking water and discard the bay leaves.
In a blender, purée the beans to a soft cream with the reserved cooking liquid and the olive oil, then squeeze in the lemon and salt to taste.
At this stage, add more lemon juice, olive oil or confit garlic, if you like.
For the tofu whip:
Blend all ingredients in Thermomix, until smooth and cream-like.
Store in a squeezy bottle.
On a plate, take a generous amount of chickpea puree on to the center of the plate, place the grilled courgettes in the center.
Spoon over generous amount of butter.
To finish, add some tofu whip or creme fraiche.
Whole roasted courgette with manouri cheese, tabbouleh and basil sauce
Recipe by: Fionnan Flood, head chef at The Chelsea Pig, London
1 yellow courgette
100g freekeh (cracked wheat)
1 plum tomato
50g Manouri cheese (a Greek cheese that’s creamier than feta)
1 bunch basil
20g confit garlic
Lemon juice and zest
Micro basil (for garnish)
Top and tail your courgette then finely crosshatch score the inside flesh before putting aside.
Boil (blanch) the freekeh in heavily salted water until tender and leave aside to cool down – ideally spread out onto a tray to speed the cooling process.
Finely chop the chives and parsley, and also finely dice the flesh from the tomato (leaving aside the seeds).
Make your basil sauce by blitzing in a food processor: basil, olive oil, confit garlic and capers – blending until smooth then adjusting the seasoning to taste.
Now, assemble the tabbouleh – mixing the freekeh, chopped herbs and tomatoes. Next, add lemon juice and zest to taste, alongside seasoning (salt and pepper).
In a frying pan on medium heat, place your courgette flesh side down, and colour it until golden brown.
Place the pan in the oven for about 5 minutes at 180C until cooked through.
For plating: place the basil sauce on the bottom on the dish (feel free to express yourself here), then add a few piles of tabbouleh around then place your courgette on top. Crumble some manouri cheese over, and add your micro basil (optional for garnish/presentation) .