July 7, 2016 by dgarnett2013
Stewed Courgettes with Basil: A Girl and her Greens by April Bloomfield
Serves 4 as a side
- 675g small courgettes, topped, tailed and halved lengthwise
- 55ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 medium garlic cloves, halved lengthwise
- 1½ tsp Maldon salt
- Five-finger pinch of basil leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp finely grated lemon zest
- A few pinches of red chilli flakes
Cut the courgettes like so: start by cutting a piece on the diagonal that’s about 2.5cm long. Then turn the courgette about 45 degrees towards you and cut another piece at the same angle. Return the courgette to its original position, cut at the same angle and so on.
Heat the oil in a medium pot (one with high sides that’s wide enough to hold the courgettes snugly in about two layers) over high heat until it lightly smokes.
Add the courgette, carve out a little space in the pot, and add the garlic. Don’t stir just yet.
Cook until the garlic is golden and the courgette pieces on the bottom are golden brown, 3 – 5 mins. (If the garlic is done early, pop it on top of the courgette). Have a good stir.
Sprinkle on ½ tsp of the salt, reduce the heat to medium-low and pop on the lid.
Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 mins or so. Now, listen: if you hear the courgette frying in oil rather than simmering in a little liquid then add 2 tabs of water. Pop on the lid again and cook, stirring occasionally, until some of the courgette pieces are tender but not mushy and some are nearly tender, 3 – 5 mins more.
Stir in the remaining 1 tsp of salt and the basil. Cook, without the lid, and every 30 seconds or so use a sturdy whisk or wooden spoon to very roughly stir and strike the courgette, not to smash the pieces but just to knock off some of the points that have gotten soft.
Keep at it until some of the softer pieces have broken down and turned creamy and the other pieces are tender with a slight bite, about 3 mins. Stir in the lemon juice, zest, chillies and more salt if you fancy.
Made on the day of Rose’s last Class 3 assembly.