Harissa Marinated Courgettes

If you are looking to add depth to your meals, as well as a bit of spiciness, then harissa is your perfect condiment. Originating from Tunisia, in North Africa, this beautifully rich, red paste is made from chilli, garlic, vinegar and spices.

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Chef Ryan has taken this somewhat smokey, slightly sweet paste and added to what is sometimes referred to as a dull vegetable – the courgette. The result is absolutely magnificent; the aubergine mousse and mint oil help, of course! But if you would like to simplify things and aren’t looking for a restaurant dish then just stick to the courgette part of the recipe below. Otherwise, jump in and create this good-looking, delicious-tasting dish with Ryan’s helpful step-by-step instructions. And …….enjoy!

Ingredients: (2 portions)

Harissa Marinated Courgettes:

· 4 small Courgettes
· 1 teaspoon Harissa Paste
· 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
· 2 Baby White Onions
· 3 Baby Beetroot
· 2 tablespoon Butter
· 30g Macadamia Nuts

Shaved Courgettes:

· 2 small Courgette
· 1 tablespoon Red wine Vinegar
· 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
· 1 teaspoon Honey
· 125ml Greek Yoghurt Aubergine Mousse:

· 1 medium Aubergine
· 1 med White Onion, sliced
· 2 clove Fresh Garlic
· 2 tablespoon Cream
· 2 tablespoon Butter

Mint Oil:

· 1 handful Fresh Mint
· 1 handful Fresh Coriander
· ¼ cup (60ml) Olive Oil
· ¼ Fresh Lemon


For the harissa courgettes:

1. Rinse the courgettes and then cut them length ways in half.
2. Place the courgettes into a bowl and add the Harissa paste and the olive oil.
3. Mix well and set aside so the courgettes can marinate. (About 1 hour).
4. Boil the baby beetroots until they are almost cooked and then strain and cool.
5. Peel the skin off the beets and then cut lengthways in half.
6. Slice the baby onions lengthways in half.
7. Toast and crush the macadamia nuts.

For the shaved courgettes:

1. In a small bowl, mix the red wine vinegar, honey and olive oil together, season with salt and pepper.
2. Using a vegetable peeler, peel long slices of courgette. (5 per portion)
3. Place the courgette ribbons into the red wine vinegar mixture and marinate for 1 hour.

For the aubergine mousse:

1. Cut the aubergine into thick slices and season well with salt.
2. Mix well and set the aubergines aside for 10 minutes.
3. Rinse the aubergines under cold water to remove any excess salt.
4. Place the aubergine, sliced onion and garlic into a saucepan.
5. Add the butter and ½ cup cold water and braise the aubergines until they are soft and all the water has evaporated.
6. Add the cream and bring back up to the boil.
7. Using a handheld blender, blend the aubergines until smooth.
8. Season to taste.

For the mint oil:

1. Place the mint, coriander and olive oil into a mixing jug.
2. Squeeze and add the juice from the ¼ lemon and 1 crushed ice cube.
3. Using a handheld blender, blend the mixture until smooth.

To plate:

1. Place the onions face down in a saucepan.
2. Place on a high heat and add the butter and a ¼ cup of cold water.
3. Braise the onions for about 2 minutes.
4. Add the Harissa marinated courgettes and the baby beets to the baby onions.
5. Gently braise all the vegetables until they turn golden brown. Remove from the heat as soon as they are done.
6. Place 2 smears of aubergine puree on each plate.
7. Roll the courgette ribbons into small rings and place 5 on each plate.
8. Fill each ring with Greek yoghurt.
9. Place 4 slices of the butter braised Harissa courgettes on each plate.
10. Place 2 baby onion halves and 3 baby beetroot halves on each plate.
11. Sprinkle the crushed macadamia nuts around the plate as a garnish.

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