as y’all probably have gathered by now … i do love a good starter! one can make a meal out of them and preparation time is usually quick and easy (no four hours of marinating and slow cooking here).
courgettes are wonderful, especially when only grilled so they remain crunchy – and a homemade pesto complements them greatly.
GRILLED COURGETTE WITH BUFFALO MOZZARELLA AND PESTO
- 1 small courgette (the small and young ones of light green colour are so much tastier)
- 1 buffalo mozzarella
- a handful of fresh basil leaves
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tbsp pine nuts (lightly toasted for better flavour)
- olive oil
- sea salt
- chili flakes
- splash of dry vermouth
slice the courgette in thin slices (about 3-5mm in size) and put them in an ovenproof dish. sprinkle with sea salt and splash some vermouth and a good quality olive oil over them (greek olive oil is heaven, as it is fruity but smooth in taste). put under the grill and grill them for about 10-15 minutes until slightly browned.
while they are in the oven, rip the mozzarella apart in as much slices as you have pieces of courgette and set aside. it is adamant that you use buffalo mozzarella, as the texture and taste (it is milky and pungent) is superiour to mozzarella made from cow’s milk.
put the basil leaves, the pine nuts, the quartered garlic cloves and a pinch of seas salt in a food processor and add as much olive oil to have it slightly covered. quickly blend it together, it should stay quite liquidy and coarse (you can add more oil if you like). season with some more salt and a pinch of chili flakes if needed.
when the courgette slices are done (they should still be firm), take them out of the oven and let them cool slightly in the dish. add a piece of mozzarella to each slice (it will slightly melt … heaven indeed!) and garnish with the pesto on top. add some more chili flakes for colour and dig in.
you can serve it hot(ish) to lukewarm, but it should still be eaten warm. with a nice glass of chardonnay or a dry muscat, it brings some mediterranian feeling to your table 🙂