Boiling, blanching, sauteing vegetables are historically the preferred form of cooking our veggies as the ovens were used more for baking breads and meats. It wasn’t until around the 20th century that the Europeans started baking and roasting vegetables with the meats. But, using a cookie shoot to roast our vegetables is a fairly recent trend that started around the mid 1980s.
I have roasted vegetables in various forms since I started experimenting with cooking and it has always been my preferred way of cooking them, unless they are being used in curries of course. This particular recipe was inspired by Chef Geetika Khanna of the Indian Culinary Centre, and I kind of fell in love with her caramelised baked courgettes. The process of roasting them whole really brings out the natural sweetness in the vegetable, and the zesty lemon and sprinkling of dried mint takes it into another flavour combination entirely that just has to be experienced.
By keeping them on the thin side, they stay crispy and caramelse beautifully. Try to choose the ones with not too much flesh inside for optimum results – they will still taste great though!
Simple ingredients, simple process and oozing with flavour – these are my Geetika style Courgettes!
MINTY LEMONY BAKED COURGETTES
4 x Courgettes
Zest of 1 lemon and juice of 1/2
Dried Mint (I used the Persian quality)
Salt and black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400F or 200C.
Slice the courgettes lengthways. I used the thinner, smaller sized courgettes for this. If the courgettes you are using are larger, I would suggest slicing them into 3-4 strips, lengthway.
Take a cookie sheet and brush non-fragranced cooking oil on it (I used grapeseed oil). Place the courgettes, cut side down on the baking sheet and brush the skin side with some oil too.
Bake in oven for about 15 minutes.
Remove carefully, using a spatula and sprinkle some salt, pepper, lemon zest and dried mint. I also added a litle squeeze of fresh lemon juice.