Roast Courgettes with Prosciutto and Saffron Yogurt

More than anything it was the craving for Ottelenghi’s Saffron Yogurt that inspired me to create this dish.  I have made his Roast aubergines, paired beautifully with pine nuts, pomegranate seeds and basil several times; always doused generously with this simultaneously citrusy, creamy, beautifully yellow sauce, and it always yields rave reviews, even from stalwart eggplant critics.
When I have it in the house, this sauce goes on everything. I’ve even tried it on figs, but it’s not something I would recommend. Any roast vegetable I have tried so far, however has been a great success. Mini courgettes have the added bonus that they are already a prime shape for dipping.  Add the prociutto for a little extra substance and line them up on a platter for a lovely appetizer with rich and exotic flavors much easier to make than they look!
Small pinch of saffron threads
2 Tbsp hot water
6oz (about ¾ cup) plain greek style yogurt
3 Tbsp olive oil
Juice from ½ a lemon
1 clove garlic, crushed
salt to taste
10-12 mini courgettes or zucchini sliced in half lengthwise
plenty of olive oil for drizzling
coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
2 Tbsp toasted pine nuts
8-10 slices prosciutto
handful cherry tomatoes, quartered
Steep the saffron threads in the hot water for about 5 minutes while you mix the olive oil, lemon juice and garlic into the yogurt. When the saffron is ready add it, water and all, to the yogurt. Stir well until smooth and let meld in the fridge while you prepare the rest.
Drizzle the courgettes with plenty of olive oil, salt and pepper and toss in a bowl so all sides are well coated. Place courgettes cut side down on a baking sheet and roast in a 400° oven for 15-20 minutes or until the courgettes turn a delicious roasted brown color on their face.
Just before serving, tear prosciutto into inch-or-so-wide strips and wrap one strip around each courgette. Arrange wrapped courgettes on a plate, dollop with saffron yogurt and sprinkle with pine nuts.  Toss cherry tomatoes with a bit of olive oil and balsamic and serve along side. Make sure to bring any remaining yogurt to the table for dipping as it is sure to be an instant favorite!

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