Despite my absolute love of meat, I seem to have eaten a lot of vegetables since I got here, in fact I am so taken with the quality of the courgettes that, since I arrived in Berlin, I have cooked them in some form or other almost every night, no joke ... I am becoming border-line obsessed with them.
So I will pass you on a recipe which I have perfected, although it is not hard to get wrong.
It sings summer to me and is immediately satisfying for a supper with the windows thrown open and the cool night air creeping in.
The one thing that I notice about it here is that it is so completely quiet, you could hear a pin drop in our courtyard all day and all night. It is so peaceful and people are respectful and neighbourly...I am still awaiting the letter from someone in our haus complaining about the noise that my boys make on an almost daily basis, but it is yet to come.
Ok courgettes, zucchini, what ever you like to call them....when you are buying them, they need to be small, they need to be firm and it is good if they are organic. They should taste sweet and not forced and too full of water....the skins should gleam of that wonderful dark green colour......
Slice them into disks and either half or quarter these depending on preference.
Melt a knob of butter and a drop of oil in a large open pan and add finely sliced garlic.
Let it fry until you can smell the lovely aromas rising up.
Add the courgette pieces and saute for 4-5 minutes until they are soft but not too soft.
Add freshly ground black pepper and some salt to taste.
Serve as they are or add the following :
Quarter some ripe tomatoes and de-seed but do not skin. Cut into bite sized pieces.
Add these to the courgette.
Toss in some black olives.
Toss in a handful of fresh herbs, parsley, sage, oregano, whatever you have to hand.
Serve sprinkled with Parmesan shavings, a glass of white wine and some fresh bread to mop up the garlicky buttery juices.
I will leave you with a few images of a crumbly house which we found which has a lot of untouched DDR-charm...