Barbecued courgettes with quail eggs & tartare sauce

Barbecued courgettes with quail eggs & tartare sauce

By
From
Gather
Serves
4
Photographer
Andrew Montgomery

Charred courgette is just so good. Aim to scorch and blister: if the barbecue’s white hot, the courgettes will char in minutes but retain a little bite. Alternatively, you can cook them as I have here, over a slightly lower heat, for a little longer, so they soften but blacken in places, too.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
8-12 quail eggs
6-8 small–medium-sized, firm courgettes
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced and zested
1 small bunch mixed flat-leaf parsley leaves and fennel fronds
salt
black pepper

For the tartare sauce

Quantity Ingredient
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon english mustard
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 anchovy fillet
pinch sugar
1 small garlic clove, peeled and grated
200ml sunflower oil
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8-10 small gherkins
2-3 teaspoons capers
1 spring onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped dill
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 hard-boiled egg, chopped
lemon juice, to taste
salt
black pepper

Method

  1. To make the tartare sauce, place the yolks in a food processor with the mustard, vinegar, anchovy, sugar and garlic. Season, then blitz for 30–40 seconds to combine. Mix the oils in a jug, then with the processor running, trickle the oil mixture into the egg mixture, a few drops at a time to start with, then in a steady stream until you’ve used up the oil and you have a thick mayonnaise. If it’s too thick, stir in 1–2 tablespoons of warm water. Roughly chop the gherkins and capers, and fold them into the mayo with the spring onion, herbs and chopped egg. Season and adjust the acidity with a dash of lemon, if required.
  2. To make the dish, bring a medium pan of water to the boil. Add the quail eggs and cook for 2½–3 minutes, then use a slotted spoon to transfer the eggs to a bowl of iced water. Once the eggs have cooled, gently roll each one on a work surface to crack the shell slightly, then place it back into the iced water (to make the shell easier to remove). Shell the eggs one by one and set aside.
  3. Top and tail the courgettes and slice them lengthways into strips about 3mm thick. Place into a large bowl and season with some salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the lemon zest and tumble together.
  4. Light your barbecue. When the embers are glowing and hot, lay your courgettes on the grill and cook for 8–12 minutes on each side, or until you have an even, light charring with some caramelization. (Alternatively, lay them over a very hot chargrill pan and cook for 2–3 minutes on each side.) Remove from the heat and arrange the courgettes on a platter. Halve the quail eggs and place them in and around the courgettes. Generously spoon over the tartare sauce, drizzle over the lemon juice, trickle with the remaining olive oil and sprinkle with the parsley and the fennel fronds. Serve warm with fresh bread.
Tags:
River Cottage
seasonal
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