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Claudia’s Sweet & Sour Grilled Courgettes

Claudia Roden

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Courgette  icon
Courgette
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Complexity:
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Serves: 4

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

3 courgettes (about 800g in total)

olive or sunflower oil

100ml white wine vinegar

50g sugar

1 tbsp dried mint

salt and black pepper

extra virgin olive oil, to serve

Veg Portions / Serving: 2

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Recipe from Med: A Cookbook by Claudia Roden. Photography by Jamie Lau.

Sweet and sour is one of the tastes the Arabs brought to Sicily in the ninth century. This courgette dish, zucchine in agrodolce alla menta, is wonderful with ricotta, which is here as a recommended option.

Method:

Preheat the grill to high. Line a baking sheet with foil. Cut each courgette lengthways into 1cm-thick slices. Place them on the foil, brush with oil on both sides and sprinkle lightly with salt. Grill for about 10 minutes, turning them over once, until they are tender and lightly browned in places. Alternatively, you can cook them on a griddle pan.

Heat the vinegar and sugar with the dried mint and some pepper in a small pan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar melts, then simmer for 2 minutes to reduce it a little. Arrange the courgette slices side by side on a serving plate, pour the vinegar dressing over them and add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

For the whipped ricotta:

Using a fork, whip 250g ricotta with 11⁄2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, the grated zest of 1⁄2 small lemon, and salt and pepper to taste.

Engaging Kids

Engaging Kids

Kids who engage regularly with veg through veg-themed activities, such as arts and crafts, sensory experiences, growing and cooking are shown to be more likely to eat the veg they engage with. Encouraging kids to engage and play with veg is the handy first step to them developing a good relationship with veg and life-long healthy eating.

Kids in the kitchen

Kids in the kitchen

Get kids to brush the oil and sprinkle the salt on the courgettes. They can also pour over the dressing and whip the ricotta.

Activities

Activities

While getting kids to interact with veggies for real and using their senses to explore them is best, encouraging hands off activities like arts & crafts, puzzles & games or at-home science experiments can be a great start, particularly for those who are fussier eaters or struggle with anything too sensory. Use these veg-themed activities as a stepping stone to interacting with the veg themselves. We have loads of crafty downloads here, puzzles here, and quirky science with veg here.

Sensory

Sensory

Once you feel your child is ready to engage a little more, you can show them how to explore the veg you have on hand with their senses, coming up with playful silly descriptions of how a veg smells, feels, looks, sounds and perhaps even tastes. Find ideas, videos and some simple sensory education session ideas to get you started here.

Serving

Serving

The moments before food is offered can be a perfect opportunity for engagement that can help make it more likely a child will eat it! Giving children a sense of ownership in the meal can make a big difference to their feelings going into it and the pride they take in it. You know your child best, but if you aren’t sure where to start, we have some fun and simple ideas for easy roles you can give them in the serving process over here.

Claudia Roden

Claudia Roden was born and brought up in Cairo. She went to school in Paris and studied art in London where she has lived ever since. Widely admired as both a great cook and a fine writer, she has written classic works on Middle Eastern food and Mediterranean cookery, including The Food of Italy and The Food of Spain, and the award-winning The Book of Jewish Food.

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