Garden Recipe

Garden Recipe
September 3, 2020 Christina Mullin

by Gill Meller

Chef and food writer Gill Meller lives in Dorset/UK where his cooking reflects his surroundings. He takes inspiration from the local landscape as well as the amazing growers, farmers and fisherman that supply many of his ingredients.

“Cooking courgettes (zucchini) slowly with garlic and olive oil has to be one of my favorite ways to deal with this summer vegetable,” Gill explains, from his garden in Dorset. “Fistfuls of herbs go in and a touch of lemon cuts their richness. I like to pile the courgettes onto crunchy toast and top them with thick slices of goat’s cheese. It’s such a great combination and is a brilliant way to use an excess of courgettes.”


–serves 2–

4 Tablespoons of olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 – 5 medium sized courgettes, sliced into 1/4” rounds
1 small handful of lovage, leaves picked and thinly ribboned
1 small handful of chives, chopped
1 small handful of parsley leaves chopped
1 small handful of fennel, roughly chopped or torn
A few sprigs of lemon thyme, or regular thyme leaves
About 4oz soft goat’s cheese
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 thickly sliced pieces of sourdough or good country bread


Place a large, heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Add half of the olive oil and when it’s hot, add the garlic and sizzle for a few seconds. Then add the courgettes and the lemon zest, season everything well with salt and pepper. Cook the courgettes slowly over a gentle heat, stirring regularly, for about 25 minutes or so, until they are just beginning to break down but still retain most of their shape.

Stir the chopped chives, lovage (if using) and parsley into the courgettes, then season again to taste with plenty of salt and pepper. Remove the pan and keep warm. You can either pop the bread under a grill or do it in the toaster. Either way, you it want to be nice and crunchy, even charred in places.

To serve, trickle the toasts with a little of the remaining olive oil then heap the courgettes straight onto the toast. Scatter over the bruised thyme leaves and top with thick slices of goats cheese. Finish with some torn fennel tops, a squeeze of lemon juice, a twist of black pepper and the remaining olive oil.

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