Courgettes with Orange Pine Nuts and Herbs by Shaun Hill (chef/patron of The Walnut Tree Inn, Llanddewi Skirrid, Abergavenny) is one of my favorite meals and featured in the Guardian Weekend magazine (3 July 2010). This recipe really does the courgette justice by keeping it crisp and with a fresh texture, you can really taste the summer in it and its best suited for small to meduim courgettes – no overgrown courgettes to be considered!
Originated from the Americas, the courgette is a variety of cucurtbit, which means it’s from the same family as cucumber, squash and melon. Botanically, the courgette is an immature fruit, being the swollen ovary of the female courgette flower.
For four as a starter or light lunch; otherwise, enough for two.
1 medium red onion, peeled and finely chopped
120ml olive oil
90g fresh breadcrumbs
12 pitted green olives, roughly chopped
2 tbsp pine nuts
2 tbsp currants
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp small capers
Juice of 1 orange
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fry the onion in the oil until soft, then stir in first the breadcrumbs and then all the other ingredients bar the courgettes. Season, and set aside to cool.
With a vegetable peeler, peel off alternate strips from the courgettes’ skin (ie, so they look stripy), then blanch whole in boiling water for two minutes. Drain, and cool under running cold water. Halve the courgettes lengthways, brush with a little olive oil and season with salt.