Hurrah, sunny spring days have returned so it is time to wade into salad territory. Whenever we eat salad you can almost see the thought bubbles drifting above our heads which say 'nice, but it would be better with a good slice of meat on top.' So I am always looking out for salads full of flavour and a bit more welly.
And the latest which we sat down to last night is super yummy. It's a recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage Veg Every Day book. It suits Gray and I very much with it's middle-eastern tahini dressing (we have both spent a great deal of time in the Middle East) Frying the courgettes is time consuming and a bit of a hassle but I assure you it's worth it :)
The Tahini Dressing
- ½ garlic clove, crushed with a little coarse sea salt
- 2 tbsp tahini (stir the jar well first)
- Finely grated zest and juice of ½ lemon
- Juice of ½ orange
- ½ teaspoon clear honey
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 medium courgettes sliced into 3mm [very thin] rounds
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- About 125g French green beans, trimmed
- 4 good handfuls of salad leaves
- 12-18 oven dried tomatoes or semi-dried tomatoes (optional)
- A handful of mint, finely shredded (optional
Make the dressing by mixing crushed garlic in a small bowl with the tahini, lemon zest and juice, honey and a grind of black pepper. The dressing may go grainy but you can thin it down by whisking in a little water, 1 tbsp at a time until you get a creamy, trickling consistency. Finally, gently stir in olive oil. Taste and add more seasoning if needed.
For the salad, bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the French beans, for 1-3 minutes. Drain, then dunk in cold water to refresh. Heat olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a fairly high heat and cook the courgette slices in batches, tossing them occasionally until tender and browned on both sides. Transfer to a bowl lined with kitchen towel to soak up any residue oil. When all courgettes are cooked, season generously with salt and pepper, add the lemon juice and chilli and toss together well. Pat green beans dry and toss with the courgettes.
To assemble the salad, spread salad leaves in a large shallow serving bowl and scatter over the dressed courgettes and beans, tomatoes and shredded mint. Trickle the tahini dressing generously over the whole lot and serve. En guete!