Grilled Courgette with Gooseberries and Capers
BY NICK MACMAHON | 18 JULY 2019
Gooseberries and capers. Sweet and sour. Classically, a combination paired with oily fish, like mackerel or smoked salmon. Substituting-in courgette makes for a vegan dish that is a powerhouse of flavour. Red gooseberries are a much sweeter version compared to its green counterpart. They can be eaten without cooking and the flavour is somewhere between a plum and a grape. If you can’t find them, substitute with grapes. Just don’t use the green gooseberries. This is a great addition to a summer barbecue, or just as a weeknight dinner with sides of brown rice and salad.
2 medium-sized courgettes
75g Red gooseberries
20g Capers (a couple of tablespoons)
A handful of whatever earthy, soft herbs you might have (parsley, thyme, oregano, mint, tarragon)
Salt and Pepper
The gooseberries and capers come together really easy. Roughly chop all the ingredients and add to a bowl with a glug of olive oil. Mix and add salt/pepper to taste. You can make this in advance and bring it out when you are ready to cook. It will also keep well in the fridge for a few days, so if there is some leftover, save it for another dish.
For the courgette, just top and tail for prep, no need to peel. Slice lengthways in half and then again, so you have 4 roughly-even slices. Dry the courgette with a paper towel and heat a bbq, grill pan or oven grill to high heat (Keep a window open if you're cooking inside, it will get smoky). Right before cooking, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
Honestly, soggy courgettes are sad. Many recipes call for 40 minutes in the oven, resulting in soft, mushy courgette. Of course, if that's what you're going for, then go ahead. Braised courgette has it's place. But, for grilled courgette, you want a nice browning on the outside and the inside still kind of raw. You want a good bite to your courgette. This is like courgette cooked rare. The grilling should take only 5 minutes, any more and the inside will start to cook. If in doubt, remove early, less browning is better than overcooked courgette.