One of the results of moving is that I have been reacquainted with some of my old kitchen equipment. I now have four frying pans. I also have my old griddle pan again. I’ve been dying to use it all week.
This is a lovely salad/side dish for summer days. I made it inside on the griddle pan, but it would also work on the barbecue. Don’t slice the courgette too thin, though or the slices will disintegrate.
Mint and lemon always work well with courgette, but here the walnuts add a touch of bitterness to work against the sweetness as well as the textural crunch.
1/2 lemon, juiced
4 tbsp olive oil
1 twig of mint, chopped
1 tbsp walnuts, chopped
1 courgette, sliced lengthwise into strips
Make the dressing by combining the lemon juice, olive oil, mint and walnuts in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
Brush the courgette slices with oil and place on a hot griddle pan.
After a minute, turn them over and cook for another minute.
Repeat until all the courgette slices are cooked.
Arrange the courgette slices on a plate and drizzle the dressing over them.
Serves 2 as a side salad
I bought a courgette this week because I feel I don’t eat enough of them even though I’m not that keen on them. I have had them before in salads, though and have quite enjoyed them. So I decided to have a try at my own recipe.
Courgette and mint are a classic combination, of course. If you’re adding mint, why not a bit of coriander as well (they go great together – try them on a curry sometime). As we’re heading eastwards, why not some lime and chilli as well? Add some beans to add substance and mangetout to add sweet crunch. And well, you’ve got a zingy, zesty salad!
This will serve 2 people as a light lunch, but I would serve it as a dinner party starter – the lime, chilli and mint will perk up any appetite! It would work well in bulk as a buffet salad, as well.
1 400g tin of cannellini beans, drained
1 courgette, grated
50g mangetout, sliced
2 birdseye chillis, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp mint, chopped
1 tbsp coriander, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
Put all the ingredients into a big bowl and mix well together.
Season with salt.
Serves 4 as a starter
This is a gem of an idea, I only wish I’d thought of it, but the honours must go to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and the River Cottage Veg Every Day recipe book. It’s a great lunch to take to work because you can prepare it the night before and it only needs boiling water to cook it. There isn’t a work place in the country that doesn’t have a kettle!
You can use any thin noodle, but the instant noodles (which are the cheapest as well) cook the quickest, which is important as you have soft green leaves that wilt very quickly. I think the secret to the success is how you make your layers, the flavour goes at the bottom, followed by the noodles and then the crunchy vegetables with the green leaves on top. You also need a sealable pot or mug about 500ml in size.
I couldn’t believe how well this worked, and it cost pennies to make versus the £5+ I’ve spent on something similar from a food outlet near my office.
1/2 tsp vegetable bouillon powder, or 1/4 vegetable stock cube
1 tsp soy sauce
Dash of chilli sauce, or tabasco
2 slices of lemon, or lime
Slice of fresh ginger
3-4 slices of fresh chilli
Packet of instant noodles, broken into pieces to fit your container
50g tofu, cut into cubes
1 spring onion, chopped
3 cm length of cucumber, deseeded and cut into matchsticks
3 cm carrot, cut into matchsticks
3 cm courgette, cut into matchsticks
1/2 little gem lettuce, shredded
1 tsp chopped coriander
Add the bouillon powder, soy sauce, chilli sauce, lemon, ginger and chilli to the bottom of your container.
Break the noodles into pieces so that they fit the container and put them on top of your stock base.
Add the tofu and then the vegetables, leaving the lettuce and coriander until last.
Put the lid on.
When you are ready to eat, pour boiling water into the container until the noodles are covered.
Put the lid back on and leave to stand for 5 minutes.
Remove the lid and stir thoroughly before eating.
Serves 1 for lunch
I like vegetable soups, but too often they are a bit unsatisfying to me. So, faced with a fridge drawer full of vegetable oddments, making a soup was a no-brainer but adding lentils to it makes it a lot more substantial.
This is a lovely, warming, satisfying winter warmer. It’s so good, you won’t even notice that it’s fat-free as well!
150g red lentils
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 medium potato, roughly diced
1 medium carrot, roughly diced
1/2 head broccoli, chopped
1 courgette, roughly diced
1 1/2l vegetable stock
1/2tsp fresh thyme
Add all the ingredients, apart from the thyme, to a large saucepan and bring to the simmer.
Skim off any scum that appears on the surface.
Stir in the thyme.
Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper and blend until smooth.
Add more boiling water if it needs thinning down.