For a simple vegetable side dish full of flavour, try these smoky grilled courgettes tossed with fresh mint, lemon and toasted pine nuts.
After a lifetime of winter birthdays in the southern hemisphere, I’ve enjoyed my recent switch to summer birthdays. Last year I spent the day in the sunshine at a London rooftop garden bar, and the year before included a sunny picnic in Central Park. This year I had grand plans to eat my way through an outdoor food market. However, the universe kindly decided I needed a reminder of home and gifted me a humid rainy day. It takes more than that to come between me and my annual birthday doughnut, so we battled our way through the rain despite being inappropriately dressed for the weather.
Every time it rains I make a mental note to buy a raincoat, then as soon as the rain stops my brain thinks “glad that’s over, zero chance rain will ever happen again” and throws my mental post-it in the bin. This week however, I’ve managed to get one over on my brain by actually purchasing a waterproof coat. Of course since its arrival the rain has stayed away, but now I’m in the win-win situation of either enjoying the sun or getting to wear my new coat (it’s really pretty!).
I hope summer isn’t trying to sneak off early, because I need at least one more month of BBQ time. These grilled courgettes are my latest BBQ obsession. They’re so easy and quick to whip up, and make a great side dish to accompany your meat when you want something more substantial than a salad.
- Make sure the courgette isn’t sliced too thin so it doesn’t disintegrate on the grill
- Swap mint with basil and shaved parmesan for an Italian twist. (Would be amazing under a bed of meatballs instead of pasta!)
- This dish works hot or cold – either serve immediately after cooking, or chill in the fridge for at least an hour
- 2 large courgettes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp toasted pine nuts
- 1 sprig fresh mint chopped
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- flaky sea salt to taste
- cracked black pepper to taste
Wash the courgettes and slice lengthways into 1/2 cm strips. Toss gently in olive oil to coat.
Heat barbeque or grill pan to med/high and arrange courgette strips in a single layer. When underside is dark golden, flip and cook the other side.
Remove from the grill and gently toss with pine nuts, mint, lemon, salt and pepper.