Courgette Satay Batons with Sweet Chilli Sauce and Pickled Cucumber and Onion

Drawing on influences from Southeast Asia and packed full of delicious herbs and spices, this recipe is perfect for when you have courgettes and want to do something a little different with them. They’re served with a sweet chilli sauce here as a contrast to the peanuts but they work equally well with the peanut sauce served with traditional satay dishes. The sweet chilli sauce is best made well in advance as this gives the sauce time to cool properly and for the flavours to develop. The pickled cucumber and onion add a refreshing crunch to the dish.

Serves 2

For the courgettes:

450-500g courgette (1 large or two medium courgettes)

2 tsp curry powder

2 cloves garlic

1 piece ginger the same quantity as the garlic cloves

2 tbsp peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)

1 tbsp maple syrup or sugar

1 tbsp dark soy sauce

For the sweet chilli sauce:

75ml (1/3 cup) water

75g (1/3 cup) sugar

75ml (1/3 cup) white vinegar

1 tbsp garlic, finely chopped

½ tbsp dried chilli flakes

¼ tsp salt

To thicken the sauce:

½ tbsp cornflour

1 tbsp water

For the pickled cucumber and onion:

¼ cucumber

¼ red onion

1 mild red chilli, sliced (optional)

2 tbsp white vinegar

1 pinch sugar

1 pinch salt

To make the sweet chilli sauce, put all the ingredients except the cornflour and 1 tbsp of the water in a pan over a medium heat. Stir until the sugar melts and then bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes until the garlic is cooked. When the sauce is cooked, mix the cornflour and remaining water together to make a paste and stir into the sauce. Continue cooking until the sauce thickens a little and then remove from the heat. Pour into a bowl or jar to cool. This sauce will last for up to 3 days in the fridge.

To make the courgette, firstly, pre heat the oven to Gas mark 6 (200˚C). Trim both ends of the courgette and then slice in half lengthways. Cut each half into 2 across the middle and slice the 4 pieces lengthwise into batons about 1cm thick. Finely grate the garlic and ginger or use a pestle and mortar to make into a paste. Put the garlic and ginger into a large bowl and add the curry powder, peanut butter, maple syrup (or sugar) and soy sauce. Mix together to make sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add water a teaspoon at a time until you have a thick consistency that will coat the courgette. Add the courgette batons to the sauce and toss to coat thoroughly. Place the courgettes, skin side down, on a baking sheet and spoon over any remaining sauce. Put in the oven on the top shelf for 25 minutes or until the courgette is tender.

The pickled cucumber and onion can be made while the courgette batons are in the oven. To do this, mix the vinegar sugar and salt in a bowl. Slice the cucumber lengthways and scrape out the fleshy seeds from the centre using a teaspoon. Thinly slice the cucumber, red onion and red chilli if using and add to the bowl. Use a spoon to mix and the cucumber and onion with the vinegar. Set aside until ready to serve.

Recipe by Rachel Bescoby

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