I love roasting vegetables. It brings out their sweetness, adds a smoky flavour and gives them a bit of texture. It takes a bland vegetable and turns it into something you actually want to eat… It’s why I love to roast courgettes!
Courgettes are one of those vegetables that take on strong flavours really well. As it doesn’t start with much of a flavour in the first place, you can pile on the herbs, spices and seasonings. 30 minutes later, you’ll find yourself with a delicious side dish and a sudden fan of courgettes.
What You’ll Need to Roast Courgettes
Below is a full list of what you’ll need to roast courgettes. The quantities below are for serving 4:
- 4 Medium-Sized Courgettes: Rinse these under cold water and then into 1cm thick rounds. Don’t peel the courgettes unless you really don’t want to eat the skin.
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil: You’ll need some sort of oil to help char the edges of the courgette, and olive oil will probably be something you have in the cupboard.
- 1 tsp Sea Salt: A decent pinch of salt is a must for drawing out as much flavour as possible.
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper: Don’t go overboard with the black pepper as we don’t want this to be fiery with pepper heat.
- 1 tsp Dried Oregano: Dried oregano adds a herbaceous, earthy flavour that pairs well with the subtle sweetness of courgette.
- 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika: Make sure you avoid hot paprika as this will be overpoweringly spicy for this dish.
- 2 Garlic Cloves: I love garlic. It adds flavour easily to just about anything. 2 minced cloves is ample for this dish. You could use garlic powder too.
- Zest of 1 Lemon: A touch of acid from lemon will contrast well with the smoky and garlicky flavours in the dish.
- Parsley: You just need a little parsley to garnish the roasted courgette. This works well with the lemon to add a burst of freshness that works in contrast to the smokiness.
How to Roast Courgettes
Once you’ve got all of your ingredients ready, here is the simple method you need to follow to roast courgettes successfully:
- Preheat the Oven
Preheat your oven to 200°C and line a baking sheet or roasting tray with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. You’ll want a hot oven to avoid having soggy courgette slices.
- Prepare the Courgettes
Combine the courgette slices, olive oil, salt, black pepper, oregano, smoked paprika, minced garlic, and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl. Toss everything together until the courgettes are well-coated with the oil and spices.
- Arrange on Baking Tray
Spread the seasoned courgette slices in a single layer on the prepared baking tray. Ensure they are not overlapping to ensure even roasting.
Place the baking tray in the preheated oven and roast the courgettes for 15-20 minutes or until they are tender and golden brown around the edges. You can turn them halfway through the cooking time for even browning.
Once done, remove the courgettes from the oven and transfer them to a serving dish. Give them a drizzle with a little olive oil, garnish with freshly chopped parsley and serve immediately.
Substitutes and Tweaks
Any dried herbs would work well so try swapping out the dried oregano for dried thyme, rosemary or sage.
I’ve kept things simple with just paprika, but you could use various spices including cumin or coriander.
Add cheese for an extra layer of flavour! With 5 minutes left, sprinkle over some feta or parmesan cheese and let it slightly melt.
Create a dressing by combining lemon juice, olive oil, salt and your favourite fresh herbs to drizzle over the courgette.
Add similar summer Med veggies to the tray alongside the courgette, such as red onion wedges, peppers and aubergine.
Add texture by tossing the courgettes with sliced almonds or pine nuts before roasting.
Tips for Roasting Courgettes
Below are my tips for getting the best out of your courgettes when roasting them:
- Salt Beforehand: If you want to get super crispy courgette slices, then salt them 20 minutes before roasting them. This will draw out any excess moisture, which can result in slightly soggy roasted courgettes.
- Create a Herb Brush: Tie rosemary and thyme sprigs together, dip into a little oil and then brush this over the courgette midway through roasting. It will impart a subtle herb flavour.
- Uniformity Matters: If you want each of the courgette slices to roast at the same time, make sure they are evenly sized pieces.
- Expect Shrinkage: Courgettes have a high water content. This means when roasting them, they will shrivel up. Make sure you do more courgettes than you think you’ll need.
- Be Experimental: Courgettes are really good at taking on flavour. There aren’t any rules. If you like heat then add a pinch of red pepper flakes. If you want crunch then sprinkle over some crispy shallots.
No, you do not need to peel courgettes before roasting. The skin is safe to eat but will also add some texture to roasted courgettes.
Ross is a freelance writer with a passion for delicious food and drinks, having worked in the hospitality industry in the past. He began working with Let’s Foodie when it first launched to provide information on how to reheat, freeze and microwave different foods.