This is an Italian technique for cooking courgettes which I learned as an au-pair in Rome a few decades ago. Thanks, Signora Pilato. It’s really simple but really lovely. It goes with nearly anything.
4 medium courgettes
Extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1. Put a heavy-bottomed frying pan on medium heat to warm while you peel the garlic cloves and slice them into quarters. Throw them into the pan with about a tablespoon of olive oil to soften slightly while you prepare the courgettes.
2. Wash the courgettes, slice them into disks of say 1/2 – 3/4 cm thick. You don’t have to be too precise here – it’s a rustic dish. Throw onto the pan, turn the heat down low, stir around to coat with the garlic and oil, and cover with a lid (or large plate). The lid is important because this means the courgettes will cook in the steam, rather then (unhealthily) frying and burning. The juices from the courgettes will stop everything from burning provided the heat is low enough. Stir from time to time to check everything is cooking but not burning. If it’s getting too brown, add a tiny amount of water and turn the heat down a little.
3. After about 15-20 mins, stirring occasionally, the courgettes will be softened and start to turn a little translucent and slightly browned in places. They are now done. Take off the heat and top with a few good grinds of black pepper and maybe a little more olive oil. It will stay warm, covered, in the pan, for quite a while.
If you are feeling fancy and don’t need to avoid dairy, you could sprinkle some freshly grated parmesan over your courgettes after piling on your plate.
Why this dish is good for you:
Courgettes are a rich source of fibre and are a low-carbohydrate vegetable you can eat in unlimited quantities without gaining weight. Braising or steam-frying is a good, low-temperature way of cooking vegetables and tastes great.