A Very Good BBQ Courgette Meze
Hello! Yes, I know, it’s been ages. I’ve had a change of job and I’m back in the kitchen developing recipes full-time, doing the odd bit of food writing on the side and of course, working on Pit. I couldn’t be happier because it just feels so right, plus I’ll have much more time to share recipes here.
Here’s something I made off the cuff last night which turned out really well, particularly considering it began with a lonely (albeit sunshine-yellow) courgette. With a potentially watery, flavourless vegetables like this the success of a recipe depends pretty much entirely on the cooking technique; treat it poorly and you will be punished. We’ve all had pallid courgette in an insipid ratatouille or squeaky aubergine in a hastily layered Melanzane Alla Parmigiana. One of my favourite ways to cook courgettes in the summer is to sling them right into the coals, or as we call it in the BBQ game: cooking ‘dirty’. This technique can be applied to lots of different vegetables (as with these tacos) or to steaks (where the direct heat and charcoal help to form a mega-crust).
You just lob the courgette in there whole once the coals are at regular cooking temperature (i.e. not flaming still) and in 10 minutes you have a vegetable that is cooked to varying degrees; charred in places on the outside, starting to collapse near the skin and just cooked through at the centre. Once chopped it’s useful as an ingredient in salsas, or just as a side dish on its own but I recommend you try it this way with yoghurt and pomegranate molasses.
This is best consumed when the courgette is still warm as it’s a pleasant contrast to the cold garlic-yoghurt. The juices also begin to seep out and mingle with the other flavours and if you don’t enjoy this scooped up with toasted bread then frankly we cannot be friends.
BBQ Courgette Meze with Yoghurt and Pomegranate Molasses Recipe
1 large courgette (no need to use a fancy yellow one)
1 large clove garlic, crushed
170g Greek yoghurt (I used one of those small Total brand tubs)
Turkish chilli flakes (pul biber)
Good flaky salt
This is very easy. When your coals are ready for cooking, put the courgette directly on them. Turn it every so often until blackened patches appear all over and it feels soft (but not falling apart) – around 10 minutes.
Mix the garlic with the yoghurt and spread onto a plate. Chop the courgette and place on top of the yoghurt. Drizzle with olive oil and pomegranate molasses. Sprinkle with good sea salt and the Turkish chilli flakes. Eat with fluffy Turkish bread (or pita, or charred sourdough at a push).