Vegetables don't need to be the token, soggy accompaniment to your meals, they can take centre stage or make the most delicious side dishes that are full of flavour. This quick and simple side salad works an absolute treat. The charred courgettes that maintain a little bite, the warmth and sweetness of the chillis, the zest punch of the lemons, the fresh layers of flavour from the herbs and the crunch of seeds or chopped nuts make this truly delicious. The flavours work well with an abundance of meals, salads, Buddha bowls or as a lovely light dish in its own right.
ZESTY COURGETTE AND SWEET CHILLI SIDE SALAD (serves 4)
Author: Holly Anderson
Allergy info: gluten-free, vegan, low fodmap, nut free option
2 large courgettes
1 tablespoon garlic infused oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest of half a lemon
A small bunch of fresh parsley
A small bunch of fresh basil
Sweet chilli peppers - I use about 5 mild piquanté peppers, finely sliced
Salt and cracked black pepper
Optional: pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, crushed walnuts for sprinkling over the top
Slice the courgettes into rounds about 0.5cm thick. drizzle with garlic oil and rub until they are all lightly coated.
Heat a griddle pan over a medium heat (you could also make this on the BBQ). Add the sliced courgettes in one even layer to the pan. Leave to cook on one side for a couple of minutes, flip and repeat on the other side. You want to leave them with a little bite to them, but with beautifully defined charred marks. Repeat in batches until all the courgettes are cooked.
Add the cooked courgettes to a large bowl along with the lemon juice and zest, a drizzle of olive oil, chopped parsley, torn basil leaves and finely sliced chillis and toss everything together. Season and leave to marinate until you're ready to serve.
If you like, you can scatter with more fresh herbs, seeds and/or chopped nuts.