Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Courgette and mint salad

When it's hot, as it is (steamingly . . . ) right now in the south of France, I really don't like to cook that much so the best thing is to prepare food while it's still relatively cool and eat it at room temperature. Cooked vegetables like this lend themselves perfectly to this treatment and make a nice change from conventional salads. You can serve it, mezze style, as part of a selection of cooked vegetable dishes, with feta, goats' cheese or hummus or as an accompaniment to grilled chicken, lamb or pork.

Serves 3-4
2 large courgettes
4 tbsp olive oil
1 large clove of garlic finely sliced
2 tbsp finely chopped mint
2-3 tsp wine vinegar or lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Trim the ends off the courgettes, quarter lengthways then cut into thin strips (see pic above). Heat a large frying pan and add the olive oil then fry the courgette strips for about 10-12 minutes until soft and lightly browned. Add the garlic for the last couple of minutes then turn off the heat and stir in the mint. Tip the courgettes into a shallow dish with their oil which goes a beautiful emerald colour and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes. Add 2-3 teaspoons of vinegar or lemon juice, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and toss together.

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