Stuff that matters

Even the largest of late-summer courgettes can make good eating when floured, seasoned and fried until crisp.

Put 4 tbsp of light tahini in a mixing bowl. Peel and crush 1 small clove of garlic to a paste, then add it to the bowl with 50ml water, 250ml of thick yoghurt and the juice of 1 lemon, stirring well.

Chop 2 tbsp of parsley leaves and add to the dressing. Roll up 8 mint leaves and shred them finely with a sharp knife. Stir them into the dressing and taste for salt. Use a small whisk if you wish then set aside.

Thinly slice 2 large courgettes (about the thickness of 2 x £1 coins, roughly half a centimetre). Stir 2 tsp of za’atar into 4 tbsp of plain flour and spread on a medium-sized plate or dish. Toss the courgettes into the seasoned flour.

Warm a thin pool of olive oil in a shallow pan. Add the floured courgettes and let them fry until pale gold – a matter of 3 or 4 minutes – then turn and cook the other side. When they are golden and lightly crisp, drain them on kitchen paper then serve with the tahini and herb sauce. Serves 6.

If you prefer use a little dried thyme in the flour instead of the za’atar. You could add a shake of paprika, too.

This is a fine use for a marrow. Peel and halve it and discard the fibres and seeds from the core. Cut each half into thin slices as above, but cook them for a little longer, about 6 or 7 minutes until tender.

This is one of those dishes that needs to be eaten as soon as it is ready – even if that means wolfing them almost straight from the pan.