And the hot hot weather continues. As the USA freezes, Adelaide Australia scorches. One of Australia’s much loved poems begins “I love a sunburnt country.” The sunburn is severe this year in these regions.
I love early morning cooking on these days, if cooking must be done at all. At 5 or 6 am is really the only comfortable time to put pot on stove. So dishes that can be eaten cold later in the day are ideal.
This recipe is a cracker. I found some scribbled notes once when I was going through my recipe paper files. Goodness knows its source, but I can tell you this is good! I must have copied it out some 5 or 6 years ago. One of Greece’s amazing and simple dishes.
I put an initial version on our sister site, Heat in The Kitchen, some time ago. After making it regularly in zucchini season, I have tweaked the recipe just a little.
Notes on the Recipe
Chop the tomatoes coarsely or finely, it does not really matter. Coarse chopping leads to a rustic look, and fine chopping means the tomatoes melt a little more into the sauce.
If you feel that you have salted the zucchinis rather heavily, then it may pay to rinse a little of the salt from the salted courgettes/zucchinis before cooking. I don’t do this, but I do taste the raw zucchini before putting it into the pan to judge the level of saltiness.
I have made this dish with small zucchinis and with very large zucchinis. With the very large versions, the skin is somewhat tougher. I don’t mind that too much, but you may want to cook it a little longer if you are using zukes that have grown to ginormous proportions.
The garlic, coriander and tomatoes are all optional, but I think they make such a beautiful sauce. I leave the garlic cloves whole, but you can chop or put them through a garlic press if you prefer.
Courgettes a la Grecque – Zucchinis Stewed in Oil
Source: inspired by scribblings on a scrap of paper
Prep time: 5 mins
Cooking time:30 mins plus time to cool the dish
Serves: 4 – 5 people, depending how you use it
500 g courgettes/zucchinis or small marrows
salt to salt the courgettes
175 ml olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
300 ml water
1 bay leaf
a few crushed black peppercorns
a few crushed coriander seeds
a little salt, to taste if needed
3 tomatoes, chopped
3 cloves garlic
a dozen or so black olives
Wash the zucchini or small marrows, removing any damaged parts of the skin, but otherwise do not peel them. Remove the ends and slice into 2.5cm pieces (if using small zucchinis) or dice into 2.5cm dice if using large zukes. Sprinkle them with salt and leave them in a colander or sieve for at least an hour to drain. They can be left overnight to drain, covered with a tea towel.
When you are ready to cook them, take a pan and add the olive oil, the lemon juice, the water, the bay leaf, thyme, garlic, peppercorns and coriander. Bring it to the boil.
Add the tomatoes and zucchini and give a good stir. Add a little more salt if you think it needs it. Cook fairly fast for 15 – 20 minutes, then add the olives and cook for another 5 minutes. By this time, the sauce will have thickened and be delicious.
Serve cold with crusty bread to soak up that delicious sauce. It can be a side dish or form the central large plate at the table with a salad and perhaps some cooked dried beans or lentils. On a stinking hot night, a large bowl and bread will be enough to eat.
Variations on the Recipe
I think diced feta added to the dish before serving would be amazing.
From the Zucchini / Courgettes / Gourgettes Series
- Courgettes a la Grecque – Zucchini Cooked in Oil
- Zucchini Curry to Die For
- Cool as a Cucumber – Cucumber/Zucchini Curry
- Gratin de Pommes de Terre et Courgettes (Gratin of Potatoes and Courgettes)
- ISKON Easy Mung Dal
- Marinated Zucchini
- Simple approaches
- Steamed Thai Eggplant and Zucchini with Chilli Paste and Cumquat or Lime
- Zucchini Pickles in Oil
- Zucchini Thoran