Chargrilling on a griddle pan or barbecue does amazing things to vegetables, managing to enhance their sweetness, while lending a delicious smokiness. The same goes for bread. This recipe marries both with a parsley salsa for a light, summery meal.

Prep time: 5 minutes | Cooking time: 10 minutes

SERVES

Four

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 courgettes, trimmed
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing and drizzling
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 4-8 slices of crusty open-textured bread, such as ciabatta or sourdough, depending on the size of the loaf
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved lengthways
  • 55g vegetarian Parmesan shaved (optional)

For the parsley relish

  • 2 large handfuls of fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon, plus juice of 1½ lemons

METHOD

  1. Using a mandolin or a sharp knife, cut the courgettes lengthways into thin strips, about 2mm thick, then brush both sides of the thin slices with oil.
  2. Heat a griddle pan over a high heat (or prepare a barbecue for cooking) and chargrill the courgettes for five minutes, turning once, or until tender with stripy char marks. You will have to cook the strips in batches – or barbecue them all together. Squeeze over the lemon juice, season, then set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, mix together all the ingredients for the parsley relish, season and set aside.
  4. Next, chargrill the bread on both sides, until toasted and blackened in places – you may need to open a window! Rub the cut-side of the cloves of garlic over the top of each bread slice and drizzle over a little oil. Top with the courgette slices and a spoonful of the parsley salsa, then finish with a scattering of Parmesan, if using, and grinding of black pepper.
Fish variation

Seafood on garlic toast with parsley relish

Top the garlic toasts with chargrilled prawns or squid instead of the courgettes and Parmesan.  Lightly brush 250g raw, peeled tiger prawns, or the same weight of prepared baby squid, which has been lightly scored with the point of a knife, with olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and smoked paprika, before chargrilling or barbecuing; it should take about two to three minutes for the prawns and one to two minutes for the squid. Serve as suggested, above.

Recipe from The Part-Time Vegetarian’s Year by Nicola Graimes (Watkins Media Limited, £25)

Chargrilled courgettes on garlic toast with parsley relish recipe

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