Grilled courgettes with cascabel honey

Ingredients

For the cascabel honey
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 red chillies
2 limes
, 1 cut in half, the other cut into wedges, to serve
2 cascabel chillies
(or 1 ancho chilli, torn in half)
150g runny honey
Salt

 

For the courgettes
4 small courgettes (550g), ideally a mixture of yellow and green ones, cut on an angle into 1½cm-wide x 8cm-long slices
5 tbsp olive oil (75ml)
Salt
3 tbsp picked fresh oregano leaves
(5g)
100g feta, or 70g pecorino
, thinly sliced
2 spring onions, thinly sliced into matchsticks

Grilled courgettes with cascabel honey

Prep 15 min
Cook 30 min
Serves 4

Do try the cascabel honey in other dishes. It’s gorgeous drizzled over a flatbread spread with ricotta, for example, or on mozzarella or burrata; it’s also great in a marinade for roast vegetables. And if you can’t get hold of cascabels, use an ancho chilli, torn in half, instead.

1. Set a griddle pan on a high heat. Once it’s very hot, lay in the garlic, red chillies and lime halves cut side down, and grill for three minutes. Turn everything over, add the cascabel chillies to the pan, and grill for another two minutes, turning the cascabels once halfway, until everything is nicely charred. Cut the red chillies lengthways into quarters, then put in a medium saucepan with the charred garlic, limes and cascabels. Pour the honey into the pan and cook on a medium heat for about three minutes, until the honey loosens and begins to bubble. Use tongs to squeeze the juices out of the cascabel chillies and lime halves and into the mix, then take off the heat, stir in a small pinch of salt and leave to infuse while you grill the courgettes, or even overnight.

2. Put the courgette slices in a bowl with two tablespoons of oil and a half-teaspoon of salt. Mix to coat, then grill the courgettes in three or four batches for three or four minutes on each side, until they have clear grill marks. Transfer to a plate, season with a little more salt, then repeat with the rest of the courgettes.

3. Heat the remaining three tablespoons of oil in a small saucepan and, once it’s hot, fry the oregano leaves for just 30-40 seconds, until they turn bright green and crisp. Strain through a heatproof sieve set over a heatproof bowl, and set aside.

4. Arrange the courgettes on a platter, then drizzle over half the honey. Put the rest, including the garlic and cascabel seeds, in a small bowl, set aside the chilli flesh and discard the lime halves.

5. Spoon the chillies evenly over the courgettes, then top with the feta. Squeeze over one of the fresh lime wedges, and top with the spring onions, crisp oregano leaves and a drizzle of the strained oil. Serve at room temperature with the reserved honey, extra oregano oil (save any you don’t use for another dish) and lime wedges for squeezing over.