I’ve mostly been “cooking” salads lately.
But not the Iceberg lettuce, sliced tomatoes and cucumber kind.
No, I’ve been using exotic ingredients like… courgette. Bear with me.
This ‘Zucchini, rocket and Parmesan’ salad, to give it its posh name, is a popular item on the menu of one of my favourite London restaurants, Da Polpo.
As you can see, you need:
A courgette (this is enough for one or two people) – and a mandolin.
Some Parmesan (cheated with the grated stuff here, but only coz the block of Parm in the fridge went a bit hard and mouldy and this was right in front of my fingertips in Waitrose.)
Some extra virgin olive oil
And some sea salt and pepper
All you need do is firstly slice your courgette into super-fine slithers (this is the trick of turning this vegetable item into a salad one!)
I tried this with a knife the first time I did it, and it was time-consuming and worrying on the fingers. Since buying BF a mandolin for his b’day (very romantic), the job has become much easier. I bought the mandolin from Amazon as they’re really tricky to track down in the shops.
Plop a big handful or two of rocket into a nice bowl; then add a smaller handful of the basil leaves. Next, flutter the the diaphanous courgette circles over the top. Like my word?
Next, mix the juice of half a lemon (for one or two people) with a tbsp of extra virg. Then add a heaped tbsp of grated parmesan to the mix with a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper. Dip your little finger in to taste and add more salt or pepper if necessary. This dressing is meant to be light; not thick and stodgy. If you need more: make more. Trial and error etc…
Et, finalement, drizzle your dressing all over your pretty leaves.
This salad goes really nicely with oven-baked salmon (I do mine in tinfoil parcels with a bit of olive oil, lemon and pepper for 10-15 mins, as mama J once showed me) and new potatoes – which I also learnt to cook recently. I boiled some lightly salted water, dropped them in, popped the top on the pan, reduced the heat a tad, and left them to cook for 20-25 mins.
Et, voila. Posh salad.