Grilled Courgettes and Goat Cheese with Walnuts

Goat cheese is the best cheese for grilling there is. I also find grilled courgettes acquire a wonderful smoky flavour, so the two combined are unbelievably delicious. You can serve this simple quick recipe either as a hot first course or as a side dish, or, accompanied by some crusty bread, as a light lunch or late supper. Small grilled courgettes can be served with drinks.

Ingredients

  • 750 g (1½ lb) medium courgettes, topped, tailed and halved lengthwise
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 175 g (6 oz) round white goat cheese, sliced fairly thinly
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 25 g (1 oz) walnut pieces, chopped finely
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Method

Preheat the grill to its highest heat. Steam or boil the courgettes for only 3–4 minutes until bright green but still fairly firm. Drain the courgettes thoroughly and put them into a bowl, then sprinkle with olive oil and salt and toss around to coat well.

Arrange the courgettes on a grill pan, skin sides upwards, and put under the preheated grill until the skins are well speckled with blackened bits all over.

Lay the charred courgettes in a large, shallow flameproof earthenware dish, cut sides upwards, and arrange the slices of goat cheese on top. Sprinkle with the dried oregano and plenty of freshly ground black pepper, and scatter the chopped walnuts all over.

Put the dish back under the hot grill for just a minute or two until the cheese is melted and browned; be sure to watch carefully while it browns.

Just before serving, trickle a little olive oil over each courgette half.

,