The traditional “Parmigiana” is made with aubergines but I urge you to try this version as it really is quite delicious. The courgettes soak up very little oil which makes it a much lighter dish, whilst still incredibly satisfying and it is a brilliant way to use up a glut of courgettes if you grow them! It also freezes well. If you can, try to cook the courgettes on a griddle or barbecue it is so much better. If not a heavy bottom frying pan will do fine.
6 large courgettes
Olive oil for frying courgettes
250g of buffalo mozzarella
2 large handfuls of parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2 handfuls of dried breadcrumbs
- Slice the courgettes lengthways but on a slight diagonal about 1/2 cm thick. Heat your griddle pan, barbecue or frying pan, until really hot. Brush each courgette generously with olive oil and cook on both sides until lightly charred. Unless you are using a nice wide barbecue you will most likely have to cook them in batches
- As each batch is cooked remove them and immediately season generously with ground black pepper and salt while they are still hot
- Tear up the mozzarella into small pieces about the size of a walnut. Warm through the tomato sauce in a small pan.
- You need a large oven proof dish, earthenware is preferable but not essential. Start with a layer of your courgette slices, then smear over a layer of sauce and dot it with mozzarella. The number of layers will depend on the size of your dish but I usually go for about three ending up with a layer of tomato sauce and mozzarella.
- Combine the parmesan with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle this over the top of your final layer.
- Place the dish in the oven and bake at 190°C/375°F/gas 5 for half an hour until crisp and golden on top. I like to serve this with an undressed green salad and crusty bread but if you want to make this dish go further it can be served with pasta.