I’m lucky enough to have a pick-your-own farm nearby. I say lucky, I’m notorious for picking more than we can reasonably eat. With that in mind, I have a growing collection of speedy side dishes that I can put together in a hurry and that allow us to savour the freshness of just-picked vegetables.
This one is superb: extremely simple, delicious and elegant. The sharpness of the lemon and mustard powder make it a great accompaniment for oily fish such as mackerel or salmon. Last night we had it alongside a rich polenta dish, purely because that was what I was making. I had a good handful of small, sweet, tender, green and yellow courgettes, so – as often happens – I thought what the hell and put this together on the off-chance that it would work with the buttery polenta. It did, and how.
Picture Credit: Jamie Oliver
RECIPE serves 4 as a side dish
4 large, or 8 small courgettes, a mix of green and yellow looks great
1 fresh red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
the zest and juice of a lemon
extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp English mustard powder
a few sprigs of basil, with small leaves
Wash the courgettes then, using a potato speed-peeler, make long, thin ribbons. Add the chopped chilli and toss together.
Zest and juice the lemon into a bowl, and add roughly the same amount of extra-virgin olive oil as you have lemon juice. Stir in the mustard powder and a pinch of flaked sea salt, whisk it all together and pour over the salad. Toss thoroughly, then pick off the basil leaves and scatter over the top. Serve immediately.