Fried Courgettes with Tomato and Fennel Seed Sauce

I wasn’t sure how this would work out but being an Ottolenghi-based dish from Waitrose Kitchen magazine I knew it would probably be a safe bet.


The original recipe uses marrow which I find tends to be a little too watery and the skin can sometimes be very tough. I used large courgettes which are more reasdily available and have a little more taste and texture.

2 large courgettes – about 800g
5 cloves garlic
5 tablespoons olive oil
salt to taste
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
400g finely chopped fresh tomatoes
pinch caster sugar
1 tablespoon tomato puree
a few basil leaves

Cut the courgettes into 1.5cm thick slices. Crush 2 cloves of garlic in a large bowl. Add 4 tablespoons of olive oil and a little salt and black pepper. Add the courgettes slices, mix well and leave for at least 30 minutes.

Put the remaining oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Thinly slice the remainder of the garlic and add to the pan followeed by the fennel seeds. After about 2 minutes add the tomatoes, sugar and a little salt. Simmer for 8-10 minutes until thickened then remove from the heat and give it a quick blitx with a stick blender. The sauce doesn’t have to be completely smooth, but if you prefer it that way then keep on blitzing…

You can cook the courgettes in a frying pan or griddle or I find it easiest in a pannini grill. Heat the pan, griddle or grill and fry/griddle the marinaded courgette slices in batches until slightly charred on both sides. Spread the cooked courgette slices out in an oven proof dish then pour over the tomato sauce.

You can serve this at room temperature. I prefer it hot which also improves the texture of the courgettes, in which case place in the oven at 180oC for about 20 minutes. Sprinkle chopped, torn of slices basil leaves over the top before serving. Works well with roasted new potatoes, steamed rice or flat breads



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