Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Lemony Courgettes on Toast
Courgettes are very gluttish – one minute you’re wondering if you’re ever going to see any peeking out from under the leaves in your patch, and the next minute you’ve got armfuls of them and your friends and neighbours are politely refusing to take any more off your hands. This is one of the ways in which I like to use up my glut. Even if you don’t grow your own, you should find an abundance of courgettes in farm shops and veg boxes from mid-summer.
As a quick, straight-from-the-garden lunch, this is hard to beat. The courgettes are wonderful served hot on toast, but they’re just as good cold – as an addition to a couscous or bulghur wheat salad, or in a pitta bread with some soft goat’s cheese.
3-4 courgettes, about 500g in total
2 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
1 small garlic clove crushed
¼ tsp thyme leaves
Grated zest of ½ lemon and 1½ tbsp juice
2 thick slices of bread
10 basil leaves, cut into think strips
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
Slice the courgettes into thin discs. Heat the oil in a largish frying pan, add the courgettes with a large pinch of salt and sauté over a medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until their moisture evaporates and they are just beginning to brown a little.
Stir in the garlic and thyme and cook for another minute or so, until a little softer and a little more coloured. Stir in the lemon zest and juice. Season with a few grinds of pepper and some more salt.
Toast the bread. Remove the courgettes from the heat and add the basil. Tip the courgette mixture with all its juices over the toast, trickle on a little olive or rapeseed oil and tuck in.
© From “River Cottage Every Day”, published October 2009 (Bloomsbury Publishing)