It does all seem to be about vegetables these days. Each time I think I’m going to write about flesh some vegetable comes along and demands my attention. This time it’s courgettes. Little yellow courgettes.
Over the last few years the courgettes available in Ibiza have improved. They are now closer to courgettes than marrows. I have a hatred of marrows. They are entirely worthless unless a necessity through starvation. I have an image locked in my brain from childhood of some cook in my parents’ hotel endlessly peeling and coring all the marrows that he could then stuffing them with mince and bechamel. Mince and bechamel works, that bit is understood – lasagne, moussaka. But mince and watery, pulpy marrow? No thanks.
Anyway the courgettes on the island generally seem to be coming down in size rather than increasing which is a good thing. But now the vegetables at Can Riera have come into season and there are absolutely perfect courgettes. Small and firm, tasty and crisp. And yellow. Anne from Can Riera specialises in unusual strains of common vegetables and herbs – purple basil, heirloom tomatoes and yellow courgettes being a few. These courgettes can be eaten raw which is nice-ish but grilling them or frying them is the way to kill with excellence.
I sliced a yellow courgette thin and fried the little discs in a bit of olive oil. I tossed them with mint and goats cheese and let them sit. I grilled a slice of white bread from Juanito’s bakery and rubbed that mother with garlic. I oiled the toast with Estornell olive oil and salted it with Maldon. I sliced a big phat heirloom tomato and laid a couple of the slices on the toast. I put a handful of Anne’s baby salad leaves on the tomato and oiled them too. Dripped some sherry vinegar over them to sharpen them up. I put the courgette mix on top and then I sat down.
Recently I have had the good fortune to go to several top Ibiza restaurants to review them. These experiences have made me re-evaluate the food available in restaurants in Ibiza. There is truly good food out there now. Be that as it may, this courgette toasty thingy was the best thing I have eaten this year. It completely blew me away. It ain’t ‘cos I cooked it. It’s ‘cos of what I had available to use. Food on Ibiza is now on an upward march.