Slow-cooked courgettes with tarragon

Slow-cooked courgettes with tarragon

By
From
Spring
Serves
6
Photographer
Andy Sewell

I love this method of cooking courgettes. It is the one I return to time and again – and the recipe I have been asked for more than any other over the years. It works as an accompaniment with almost any dish. Use another soft herb in place of the tarragon if you like – the courgettes will happily partner basil, mint, parsley or chervil. In order to achieve the gentle unctuous flavour and texture that you are looking for, it is essential to cook the courgettes really slowly over the gentlest possible heat, without letting them brown.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
12 small firm courgettes
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
40g unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
5 tarragon sprigs, chopped, leaves only
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Trim the courgettes and slice them into fine rounds, about 3mm thick.
  2. Place a large heavy-based pan over a medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. Once the butter has melted, add the courgettes and stir well to coat the slices in the melted butter and oil. Add the crushed garlic and a good pinch of salt.
  3. Now turn the heat down to its lowest possible setting and put a lid on the pan. Cook for ­40 minutes, stirring every few minutes to ensure that the courgettes do not stick to the bottom of the pan or brown. As the courgettes cook they will soften and their flavour will deepen, taking on a lovely garlicky aroma. Eventually they will begin to disintegrate, becoming almost like a thick mushy jam.
  4. At this point, remove from the heat and add the chopped tarragon, plenty of pepper and a good pinch of salt. Stir well and serve. These courgettes are surprisingly good eaten cold as well – often I toss them through a salad of leaves and cooked lentils dressed with a little olive oil and wine vinegar.
Tags:
Skye Gyngell
seasonal
Spring
London
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