I love this time of year when all the courgettes, aubergines, tomatoes etc are at their prime. And I’m always on the hunt for new ways to cook these vegetables.
A couple of weekends ago, we were visiting friends in the UK. They live in Sussex, in the middle of classic British countryside complete with skinny, windy country lanes, hedgerows, pathways crossing farmland and a local country pub within stumbling distance. They have a large property and they make the most of it by growing a huge variety of vegetables and fruit. I’m so envious – I hope one day that I will live somewhere with my very own vegetable garden (note to self: need to move outside of inner city)! Anyway, amongst other things, I saw that they were growing a variety of courgette that I hadn’t seen before this summer…so I was finally able to get the name.
Called the Trombetta Courgette (which translates to ‘trumpet’…I guess they do have a sort of elongated trumpet shape), they are predominantly grown around the Sanremo area in Italy, which is where we were for our first week. I loved their delicate green colour, and as they looked like they’d just been picked, I decided to give them a try. I was also on an anchovy kick, so decided that the saltiness of the anchovy must help along the understated taste of the courgette. I was right – it was the perfect combo (don’t be afraid of using the anchovy…they lose their strong fishiness when sauteed with olive oil and garlic). What I liked about this variety of courgette is that it’s less watery that most, so it retains a firmer texture…perfect for sauteing.
Finely chop a couple of cloves of garlic and 4-5 anchovy filets, which have been drained. Heat a healthy glug of olive oil in a saute pan and add the garlic and anchovy. At this time, you can also add a pinch of dried chilli or pimenton espelette if you like a bit of heat. Gently saute for a couple of minutes, taking care not to burn the garlic. Chop 2-3 courgettes into 3cm chunks, and add to the pan. Cook until tender. Season with fresh ground black pepper. Serve with shavings of parmesan cheese. Delicious!