Recipes -


900g courgettes
1½ cups (150g) fresh breadcrumbs
3 tbsp unsalted butter
¾ cup (75g) sliced shallots
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp thyme leaves
½ cup (120g) salsa verde (see recipe below)
1 cup (110g) grated cheese of your choice but preferably one that melts easily – a combination of Edam and Tasty or I like Taleggio myself
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200˚C.

Cut the courgettes into slices approx 3mm thick. Toss the slices in a large bowl with one teaspoon of salt and let sit for 10 minutes.

Place the breadcrumbs in a bowl. In a small sauté pan over medium heat melt the butter until it browns and smells nutty. Pour the brown butter over the breadcrumbs (being sure to scrape all the brown bits into the bowl with a rubber spatula). Wait a minute or so for the butter to cool and toss well.

Drain the courgettes and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the shallots, minced garlic, thyme, half cup of salsa verde and some black pepper. Toss to combine, then add the cheese and half the butter coated breadcrumbs. Toss again and taste for seasoning. (The raw garlic will taste strong at this point, but will be delicious when cooked). Place the courgettes in a 23cm x 23cm (or equivalent) gratin dish. Scatter over the remaining breadcrumbs and bake for 35-40 minutes, until thecourgettes are tender and the top is crisp.

Salsa verde
1 tsp marjoram or oregano leaves
¼ cup (4tbsp) coarsely chopped mint
1 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
¾ cup (180ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 small clove garlic
1 salt-packed anchovy, rinsed, bones removed
1 tbsp salt-packed capers, rinsed and drained
½ lemon, for juicing
Freshly ground black pepper

You can use a mortar and pestle to pound the herbs to a paste but blitzing in the blender saves time! Pour in some of the olive oil, add the garlic and anchovy and blitz again for 5 seconds. Add the capers but blitz again only for 2 or 3 seconds. Pour in the remaining oil, a pinch of black pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice and blitz once again. Taste for balance and seasoning.