Oven-Roasted Courgettes with Salsa Verde

This is a nice little side or accompanying dish to go with a whole range of other foods. My Baby New Potatoes with Garlic and Chilli would be ideal. Or try them with my Classic Griddled Polenta. The courgettes are cut in half lengthways, tossed in olive oil and seasoning, then roasted until soft and browned. That really is the only cooking involved. That doesn’t mean you won’t get a bit of a workout making this: all the herbs for the Salsa Verde have to be chopped by hand until quite small, so you’ll definitely get some exercise.
You can make the dressing ahead of time. Do bear in mind, however, that the olive oil will solidify in the fridge, so it will have to be taken out a good half hour or so before you are planning to use it. The Salsa Verde can also be made on its own to put with something else if you like.

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Prep time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: 30-35 minutes.
Serves 2-4

For the Roasted Courgettes:
4 courgettes, cut in half lengthways
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and black pepper

For the Salsa Verde:
A small handful of mint leaves
A small handful of parsley leaves
A small handful of basil leaves
4 small (or 2 medium to large) gherkins
2 tbsp capers
2 cloves garlic
125ml olive oil
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste.

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Preheat the oven to gas 7/220C/425F
Place the courgettes into a mixing bowl and add the olive oil and salt and pepper. Mix around with your hands until the courgettes are fully coated. Place them onto a baking tray, flesh side up, and pour any remaining oil from the mixing bowl over them. Roast in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes. Turn the courgettes over with cooking tongs, so that they are face down and roast for another 10 minutes. Turn them back the right way up again and cook for a further 5 minutes if necessary.
While the courgettes are cooking, chop all of the herbs with the gherkins and capers, until quite fine (see picture). Put them into a mixing bowl and then chop the garlic as fine as you can. Put the garlic in the bowl also and then pour in the olive oil. Add the white wine vinegar and mustard and mix the whole lot until fully incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve the courgettes while hot, 2 or 4 to a plate, and drizzle over the Salsa Verde.

Salsa Verde
IMG_1308 copy

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