Skye Gyngell Recipes: Courgettes with Tarragon
Skye Gyngell Cookbook: go back to basics with this timeless and delicious courgette side-dish.
Bored of steaming, sautéing and roasting? This super simple side dish transforms greens into a memorable and mouth-watering treat.
Slow-cooked courgettes with tarragon
I love this method of cooking courgettes. It is the one I return to time and again – and the recipe I have been asked for more than any other over the years. It works as an accompaniment with almost any dish. Use another soft herb in place of the tarragon if you like – the courgettes will happily partner basil, mint, parsley and chervil. In order to achieve the gentle unctuous flavour and texture that you are looking for, it is essential to cook the courgettes really slowly over the gentlest possible heat, without letting them brown.
12 small firm courgettes
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
40g unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
5 tarragon sprigs, leaves only, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Trim the courgettes and slice them into fine rounds, about 3mm thick.
Place a large heavy-based pan over a medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. Once the butter has melted, add the courgettes
and stir well to coat the slices in the melted butter and oil. Add the crushed garlic and a good pinch of salt.
Now turn the heat down to its lowest possible setting and out a lid on the pan. Cook for 40 minutes, stirring every few minutes to ensure that the courgettes do not stick to the bottom of the pan or brown. As the courgettes cook they will soften and their flavour will deepen, taking on a lovely garlicky aroma. Eventually they will begin to disintegrate, becoming almost like a thick mushy jam.
At this point, remove from the heat and add the chopped tarragon, plenty of pepper and a good pinch of salt. Stir well and serve. These courgettes are surprisingly good eaten cold as well – often I toss them through a salad of leaves and cooked lentils dressed with a little olive oil and wine vinegar.
Recipe extracted from Spring: The Cookbook by Skye Gyngell (Quadrille Press, Hardback £25)