This reminds me of when the smell of frying would lure me into the kitchen as a little boy. I’d stand next to my mum by the hob as she turned the coin-sized slices of courgette in a frying pan until they were golden. As soon as they were seasoned with a little salt, some crushed garlic and a few drops of lemon juice, we’d enjoy them by the plateful. Here, sautéed courgettes are mixed with tahina to make this lovely creamy concoction. It’s one of our favourites in the restaurant, where we serve it with warm, freshly made pitta bread. We garnish it with crisp strings of deep-fried courgette. See my finishing tip for how to do it.
3 tbsp olive oil
500g courgettes, trimmed and chopped into 1cm-2cm cubes
150g Greek yoghurt
50g mint sprigs
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
½ tsp cumin
- Heat the oil in a large sauté pan and add the chopped courgettes. Cover the pan with a lid and fry over a low heat for 12-15 minutes until the courgettes are very soft. Toss them every now and then so that they cook evenly and don’t stick to the base of the pan.
- Cool a little, then put them in a food processor. Add the tahina and yoghurt. Pull the leaves from the mint sprigs (discard the tough stalks) and put them into the food processor with the salt, pepper and cumin. Blitz to make a smooth purée. Taste to adjust the seasoning, then spoon into a bowl and serve.
TONY’S FINISHING TOUCH
Finely slice ½ a small courgette into thin strips and fry in a little olive oil until golden and crisp. Spoon on top of the dip and garnish it with small fresh mint leaves and a good pinch of cumin seeds over the top and around the edge of the dip, then finish with a little extra virgin olive oil.