Courgettes. Another vegetable that is under-loved, mainly because of being mushy and cooks’ not being sure what to do with them. This recipe brings out the best of courgettes and is so easy. Being fairly in-expensive justifies being generous with the olive oil.
Find a pan big enough to hold all of the courgettes (you can do it in two batches if needs be). Half fill with water and add a good spoonful of salt – you want the water to be fairly salty, almost like sea water. Place on a high heat (with a lid if possible) and bring to the boil. Trim the stalk from the courgettes and place in the water when boiling. Turn the heat down to a rolling boil. You might need to put a lid on or if not available, use a plate to keep the courgettes submerged.
Finely chop the garlic and place in a small pan with the olive oil. Turn the heat up to medium and slowly cook the garlic till crispy, watching it like a hawk. When it looks very light brown, take it off the heat and set aside, as the residual heat in the oil will finish cooking it.
After 15 minutes of cooking, test for readiness by sticking a knife into the middle of one of the courgettes. It should be soft with no resistance. If ready, drain the pot and place the courgettes in a colander, placed on top of the pan used to boil them. Stab them with a knife to allow them to release their water. Leave for them for around ten minutes to cool and drain. Once cool enough to handle, they need to be squeezed thoroughly the expel as much liquid as possible. Be careful, they insides can still be very hot. You will be left with a lot less courgettes than you started with. Discard the liquid left over and put the courgettes in the pan to keep warm. They can be broken apart with your hands or with a spoon as you mix in the other ingredients.
Add in the vinegar, mint, oregano and chilli flakes and stir through. Taste the courgettes and then decide how much seasoning they need. Add a few pinches of salt and pepper and taste – add more if you prefer. Finally add the Basil Oil and then eat whilst warm, although they taste pretty good cold too.