The technique of charring the courgettes and then roasting them here really brings out their natural savoury flavour, making the very best of this everyday vegetable. Whipped feta is one of the most moreish umami things you can eat, and anything topped with crispy garlic and chilli is sure to pique my interest! You’ll have some of the garlic and chilli oil left over, and if you keep reading this book, you won’t need me to tell you what to do with it. But just to mention that it’s great for salad dressings, drizzling over pizza, tossing with pasta or frying an egg.

INGREDIENTS – Serves 2-4 as a side

2 courgettes

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

1 lemon, halved

small handful of oregano, leaves picked, to garnish salt

For the crispy garlic & chilli

100ml (3½fl oz) olive oil

6 garlic cloves, finely sliced

1 red chilli, finely sliced into rounds

For the whipped feta 150g (5½oz) feta cheese

2 tablespoons cold water

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan, 400°F), Gas Mark 6.

Cut the courgettes in halflengthways and score the cut sides in a crisscross pattern. Pour over the olive oil, season with salt and rub it in with your hands so that all the surfaces are well coated.

Heatalarge frying pan over a high heat. Once hot, add the courgettes, cut-sides down, and fry for 3-4 minutes until the flesh is charred and blackened (you may need to do this in batches, depending on the size of your pan) – you aren’t cooking them all the way through here, just getting some colour and flavour before roasting them. Transfer the courgettes to a large, low-sided roasting tray and roast for 10-15 minutes until tender.

Add the lemon halves, cut-sides down, to the hot pan and char for a minute, then transferto a plate to cool.

While the courgettes are roasting, prepare the crispy garlic and chilli and oil. Set a sieve over a heat proof bowl. Add the oil to a frying pan, then add the garlic and chilli with a pinch of salt to the cold oil. Place over a medium-low heat and heat the oil up gently with the garlic and chilli in it (this is the key to avoid burning the garlic). Fry for 3-4 minutes, stirring often so that the garlic slices don’t stick together and cook evenly, until lightly golden. Keep an eye on it here, as once it starts to turn golden, it will quickly burn. Pour the oil, garlic and chilli into the sieve so that the bowl underneath catches the flavoured oil. We’ll use this oil, so don’t throw it away!

Blitz the feta, cold water and extra virgin olive oil in a blender until smooth and creamy, then spoon on to a serving platter. Pile on the courgettes, followed by the crispy garlic and chilli, the oregano and a drizzle of the garlic and chilli oil, then squeeze over the juice of the charred lemon.

Sprout & Co Saladology: Fresh Ideas for Delicious Salads