This can’t be called a full-scale recipe, it’s really just a useful alternative way to cook courgettes. I found it especially handy when my courgette plants suddenly decided to become surprisingly productive towards the end of the season. We’ve been told for years that vegetables should never be overcooked so this method sounds odd, but trust me, it really works. This healthy little dish can be used hot or warm alongside meat or fish (don’t overdo the mint and lemon if you’re serving it with subtly flavoured foods). It also works really well at room temperature as a part of a mezze – I think it’s a good alternative to the more common aubergine salad.
I grew yellow courgettes this year and I think the colour’s very pleasing, but green courgettes will work just fine too. If you’ve let a few courgettes get a bit larger than usual, then you can still use them very successfully in this dish, but it would be best to scrape out and discard the seeds.
The amounts given here will give you around 4 servings but they are just a guide and can be varied as the occasion and mood dictates. If you do end up with loads of courgettes then it’s worth knowing that this dish freezes well.
1 Kg finely sliced courgettes
Very finely chopped zest and juice of 1 lemon
Handful of fresh mint leaves, chopped
Place the courgettes and lemon zest in a large saucepan and add a splash of water and some seasoning. Place on a low heat, cover and cook very slowly, stirring regularly.
When the courgettes have completely softened and collapsed, which could take anywhere between 45 and 70 minutes, stir in the lemon juice. The courgettes will almost certainly have produced a lot of liquid, so take the lid off the saucepan and increase the heat. Continue cooking and stirring until the mixture has thickened to your liking.
Stir in the mint and add more seasoning if it needs it (this dish can take plenty of seasoning). If the result is a little too sharp, then add a drop of honey. If you’re serving this as a salad, then a little drizzle of lemon-infused olive oil adds a nice finishing touch.