Courgettes & garlic matsoni

Olia Hercules

Olia Hercules

4th September 2017

Courgettes & garlic matsoni

This dish is simplicity itself. It used to be made with mayonnaise throughout the ex-Soviet Union, but thank goodness that’s all over and we can now use traditional premium dairy. As with all simple recipes, this is particularly tasty if you can source great home-grown or good-quality courgettes and make your own matsoni. If your courgettes are not the greatest, try using a mixture of all the soft herbs you like best to give them a bit of a lift. But if you have amazing vegetables and your own homemade yogurt, use just a little dill and let them sing
their sweet, gentle song. And I love borage for its subtle cucumber flavour overtones.

[Photography: Elena Heatherwick - Food stylist: Olia Hercules - Book credit: Kaukasis: The Cookbook by Olia Hercules was published by Mitchell Beazley on August 10, 2017, £25 (]


  • Serves 4 as a side
  • 2 large courgettes
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 100g (3½ oz) Homemade Matsoni (see below or page 29) or good-quality natural yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon of your favourite mixture of soft herbs, roughly chopped
  • sea salt flakes


Slice the courgettes lengthways into 5mm (¼ inch) strips.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the courgette slices on each side until deep golden.
Remove and drain them on kitchen paper.
Mix the matsoni or yogurt with the garlic and add some salt, then taste – it should be really well seasoned, so add more salt if necessary. Drizzle the mixture over the courgettes and sprinkle over the herbs.
Try lightly coating the courgettes in flour before frying – it will give them a bit more body.
Buckwheat flour adds a nice nuttiness to the flavour.

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