Hasselback Courgettes with a Tomato & Herb sauce
This simple dish is a great way of cooking courgettes if you've run out of inspiration for ways to serve them.
Just as you'd make hasselback potatoes, the courgettes are sliced finely (part way through) and then roasted until tender and the tops a little crisp. I made a chunky tomato and herb sauce to go with them and used some courgette flowers to decorate the top.
I also scattered over some toasted walnuts and crumbled Feta cheese to make this a satisfying vegetarian supper and served it with a crisp green salad with a tangy citrus and whole grain mustard dressing.
4-5 large courgettes
250g-300g fresh ripe tomatoes
1 large red onion
1 large red pepper (optional)
pinch chilli flakes (optional)
1-2 fat cloves garlic
Handful fresh herbs (I used rosemary, thyme, bay, basil, oregano and Summer savoury)
2-3 tsps olive oil
150g Feta cheese (if using)
3-4 courgette flowers
To make the tomato sauce: fine chop the red onion, garlic, herbs and red pepper, if using. Roughly chop the tomatoes and set aside. Heat a large, deep sided non-stick sauté pan and toast the walnuts until lightly browned, then chop when cool enough to handle.
In the same pan heat 1-2 tsps of olive oil and gently sauté the onion for a few minutes before adding the red pepper. Cook both until tender and slighly browned. Add the tomatoes, garlic and any chopped woody herbs (reserving the more tender herbs like basil to add to the sauce at toward end of cooking time). Simmer until thickened, adding a pinch of chilli flakes for flavour if desired and a pinch of sugar if the tomatoes are not that sweet. Season to taste and stir in any tender leaf herbs. Set aside until the courgettes are cooked.
To cook the courgettes: heat the oven to 200C (400F)and pre-heat a roasting tray. Place the courgettes on a chopping board and using a sharp knife make a series of narrow vertical slices along the length of each courgette, being careful not to cut all the way through (slicing 3/4 of the way down is about right). Gently transfer them to the pre-heated roasting tray and drizzle over a little olive oil. Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until tender in the middle and slightly crisp on the outside. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Re-heat the tomato sauce and spoon out onto a large serving dish. Carefully place the courgettes on top and scatter over the chopped walnuts, crumbled Feta (if using) and a few extra chopped herbs if desired. If you have courgette blossoms then add them to the dish as a decoration, gently tearing into smaller pieces if the flowers are large.