Secret Recipe Club:
Sautéed Courgettes (Zucchini) with Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Basil
Here we go, another Monday and another Secret Recipe Club reveal day! This month I was assigned a blog that I often visit and love, Bewitching Kitchen. Sally is the voice behind the blog and I have admired and loved her work since discovering her through the Secret Recipe Club nearly two years ago. As usual, I had a HUGE problem choosing what to make with so many recipes to choose from…….Quick sun-dried tomato crostini, Mediterranean Skewers, Sophie Grigson’s Parmesan Cake, Korean Barbecue Burger, Brigadeiros, Auvergne Crown and Chicken in Peanut Mole Sauce all took my fancy, and Sally has a HUGE selection of recipes for bread, which I LOVE to bake, but it was her Sautéed Courgettes (Zucchini) with Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Basil that I finally decided to make, based on a glut of courgettes I had at my disposal!
Sally was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil and has lived all over the word, including Paris, California and currently Manhattan. So, expect an eclectic mix of fabulous global recipes on her site, which is lovely. I have spent many an hour perusing her recipes since I was assigned her blog a month ago. I chose to make the courgette recipe for a lazy Sunday lunch – we had spatch-cocked chicken with herbs and lemon, haricots verts with garlic and duck-fat roasted potatoes. It was a hot Sunday in the Charente-Maritime and we ate outside. It was such a simple recipe and yet delivered on the taste front; fresh courgettes were cooked with olive oil and garnished with sun-dried tomatoes and basil, as well as a squeeze of lemon juice.
To make things easier and to utilise the oven, which was on for the potatoes and chicken, I decided to roast mine; the same ingredients were used, but I put them all into an old French Tian (oven dish) and roasted them for about 30 to 35 minutes. They were wonderfully most and yet slightly charred on the edges with a tangy lemon flavour. The sun-dried tomatoes were amazing and added a real tomato zap to the courgettes, which, can be a little bland sometimes. It was one of those recipes that brings out the flavour in a subtle vegetable without overpowering it, needless to say we all loved it! I struggle with courgettes (zucchini), it is such a bland vegetable and I am not a lover of it when it is poached or stewed, but when it’s roasted it is truly sublime and brings a new dimension to this shy and retiring vegetable.
I did salt it before cooking, as Sally suggests, and I then drained off the excess moisture; I decided to add all of the ingredients together to cook and it worked beautifully. I used less olive oil and extra lemon juice and also added a drizzle of the sun-dried tomato oil too. This simple recipe made our Sunday lunch special and really enhanced the flavours of the lemon chicken, roast potatoes and garlic green beans. I used small courgettes, and managed to get neat little batons out of the two that I used. Sally’s recipe is here: SAUTEED ZUCCHINI WITH SUN-DRIED TOMATOES AND BASIL, but I have copied my version below.
RECIPE: SAUTEED ZUCCHINI WITH SUN-DRIED TOMATOES AND BASIL
(adapted from Fine Cooking magazine #65)
2 medium zucchini
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt + more for seasoning
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil + a little sun-dried tomato oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
4 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and finely diced
6 fresh basil leaves, torn into large pieces
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, juiced
Wash the zucchini and dry them with paper towels. Trim off the ends and
quarter the zucchini lengthwise. Arrange the zucchini, cut side up, on a baking
sheet lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with the salt and set aside for 10 minutes.
Blot the quarters dry with the paper towels. Cut each quarter on the diagonal into
Place all of the ingredients, except the lemon juice in an oven-proof dish and roast for 30 to 35 minutes in a pre-heated oven, 200C/400F/Gas 6.
Drizzle with the lemon juice and serve immediately.
That’s it for another Secret Recipe Club reveal day, do try this recipe, it is simply fabulous and is perfect for the courgettes season. See you later with some more new recipes and photos of a recent day trip to the French seaside, Karen.