Thursday, 23 October 2014

Chargrilled courgette/ zucchini salad



This salad is so delicious and so filling that it almost isn’t like a salad as it would definitely be fine for a main meal. I prefer it if you can chargrill the courgettes with a griddle pan or barbeque but that is of course optional and you could just fry the courgettes instead if you prefer.  It is also really simple and quick, the only thing that will take time is the fact that you can only fit a couple of courgette slices at a time on a griddle pan so may need to either use more than one griddle pan or do them in batches. This of course isn’t an issue if you are using a barbeque though as you will easily fit all the slices on a barbeque. 

 

You will need:

 

  • 1 medium sized courgette 
  • 2 handfuls of lettuce- I used peashoots, chard and rocket
  • ½ a lemon 
  • 50g pine nuts
  • Olive oil 

Dressing 

  • 1-2 small chillies- I used a red and an orange one 
  • Olive oil 
  • The juice of the lemon you used for the salad. 

 

Method:

 

  • Cut the courgette lengthways into slices about 1cm thick- (any thinner and they will be difficult to turn over and may stick)
  • Heat a griddle pan up
  • Brush the courgette slices with olive oil so they are completely coated on both sides 
  • Put the slices onto the griddle pan and leave for about 5 minutes 
  • While you’re waiting arrange the rest of the salad- put the lettuce onto the plate
  •  Peel some very small sections of the lemon zest and set aside
  • Finely chop the chillies and discard the seeds. Scatter half over the lettuce and keep half back
  • Check if the courgette slices look like they’re starting to turn slightly transparent and if they are turn them over 
  • Next make the dressing- take a jam jar and put about three tablespoons of olive oil in, followed by the juice of the lemon you took the zest from, finally add the chopped chillies and some salt and pepper. 
  • Put the lid on the jar and shake well, taste and add some more seasoning/lemon/oil as appropriate.
  • Once the courgettes are cooked remove them from the pan and add  the pine nuts to it. Cook these for a couple of minutes until they are starting to turn golden and brown in places. 
  • Stack the courgettes over the lettuce, then scatter the remaining chillies, lemon zest and drizzle with dressing. 
  • Finally scatter the toasted pine nuts over the top and enjoy! 

You can also top it with an avocado to make it even more filling and nutritious! 

 

This recipe is vegan but adding feta or goats cheese goes really well and will make the salad vegetarian rather than vegan. 



 

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Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Insalata caprese- tomato and mozzarella salad



This is such a quick salad to make and it’s also great if you really like it as lots of restaurants have it either as a starter or as a side dish so it’s a vegetarian low carb meal that you really can find quite often (quite a rarity). 

 

I sometimes mix it up and have goats cheese rather than mozzarella because goats cheese is my favourite cheese, and the salad works really well with any white cheese. It is so easy to whip up as if you’re like me, you’ll pretty much have the ingredients in for it most of the time. You can also make the salad in literally 5 minutes as it is so simple. 

 

One of the things I love about it is that despite it being really simple you can present it in lots of different ways to make it look really impressive.

 

I have included two methods, one of the first picture which is a lot tidier, and a second method which makes a really similar salad but is just tweaked a little bit and is a little less ‘uniform’ looking. 

 

Ingredients:

  • Tomatoes/ beef tomatoes often work best but any size will do 
  • Mozzarella- burrata is really nice as it is less rubbery and tears really easily, which is good if you’re making a more ‘rough salad’, but you might prefer other types if you want more clean slices- as for this dish. You can also of course swap in other cheese like feta or goats cheese. 
  • Basil- I love mixing greek basil and normal, sweet basil. 
  • Olive oil 

 

Method 1:

  • Slice the tomatoes and the mozzarella to similar thicknesses so they are quite similar in size. It will help if you pick tomatoes and cheese that are similar in size while they are whole
  • Present them on a plate- a long plate works really well as in the picture, or also placing them in a circle, alternating the tomato and cheese looks good too. 
  • Tear some basil leaves and scatter them over the top*
  • Drizzle with olive oil 
  • Serve and enjoy! 

 

*People sometimes prefer to choose some really big basil leaves and add these while layering the cheese and tomato so you have one slice of cheese, one slice of tomato and then one leaf of basil, then repeat this.



 

Method 2:

 

  • Chop or slice the tomatoes, cherry tomatoes work best for this salad, but you can use bigger ones and just chop them a few times till they’re quite small. 
  • Tear chunks of a ball of burrata mozzarella 
  • Add to a jam jar or sandwich box and then pour about a tablespoon of olive oil and lots of finely chopped basil, or a big tablespoon of pesto- I have a recipe for pesto here.
  • Put the lid on the box or jar and shake gently until everything is covered in the oil/basil or pesto. 
  • Tip gently onto a plate 
  • Scatter with some more basil and serve. 

 


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