Claudia's Sweet & Sour Grilled Courgettes

Claudia Roden

Claudia Roden was born and brought up in Cairo. She went to school in Paris and studied art in London where she has lived ever since. Widely admired as both a great cook and a fine writer, she has written classic works on Middle Eastern food and Mediterranean cookery, including The Food of Italy and The Food of Spain, and the award-winning The Book of Jewish Food.

Sweet and sour is one of the tastes the Arabs brought to Sicily in the ninth century. This courgette dish, zucchine in agrodolce alla menta, is wonderful with ricotta, which is here as a recommended option.

Method

Preheat the grill to high. Line a baking sheet with foil. Cut each courgette lengthways into 1cm-thick slices. Place them on the foil, brush with oil on both sides and sprinkle lightly with salt. Grill for about 10 minutes, turning them over once, until they are tender and lightly browned in places. Alternatively, you can cook them on a griddle pan.

Heat the vinegar and sugar with the dried mint and some pepper in a small pan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar melts, then simmer for 2 minutes to reduce it a little. Arrange the courgette slices side by side on a serving plate, pour the vinegar dressing over them and add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

For the whipped ricotta:

Using a fork, whip 250g ricotta with 11⁄2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, the grated zest of 1⁄2 small lemon, and salt and pepper to taste.

About the chef

Claudia Roden

Claudia Roden was born and brought up in Cairo. She went to school in Paris and studied art in London where she has lived ever since. Widely admired as both a great cook and a fine writer, she has written classic works on Middle Eastern food and Mediterranean cookery, including The Food of Italy and The Food of Spain, and the award-winning The Book of Jewish Food.

Kids in the Kitchen

Get kids to brush the oil and sprinkle the salt on the courgettes. They can also pour over the dressing and whip the ricotta.