Un-lock Your Inner Vegetarian…

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May,24, 2016 8:33 am

To celebrate National Vegetarian week I’m posting some recipes that will tempt even the most dedicated carnivores to ditch the meat and enjoy some fresh, in-season, flavourful and health giving veg.

My first is a delicious and stylish dish where the humble courgette is the star of the show…

Courgette and Courgette Flower Carpaccio with Ricotta

This is light and lovely with a delicious floral sweetness from the melon. To make the salad even prettier, tear a few bright yellow courgette flowers into the salad if you have them. We have a small melon baller to make the pearls but if you don’t have one simply cut the melon into small cubes instead.

Serves 4–6

For the dressing

½–1 red or green chilli, according to taste, finely chopped

1 small garlic clove, finely grated

finely grated zest of ½ lemon plus extra to garnish

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad

3 medium courgettes, thinly sliced

4 round tomatoes, diced or 8 cherry tomatoes, halved

1 red pepper, deseeded and finely sliced

a handful of basil leaves, tough stems discarded

½ honeydew or cantaloupe melon (about 150g flesh), cut into pearls

100g ricotta, drained.

 

Make the dressing by mixing the ingredients together in a bowl. Season to taste and set aside.

Arrange a layer of courgette slices, tomatoes and red pepper strips onto one large serving plate or individual ones. Pour over a little dressing. Add the remaining sliced vegetables on top followed by the remaining dressing. (At this point the salad will keep for a few hours in the fridge if you wanted to serve it later).

Just before serving, scatter over the basil leaves and melon pearls and top with teaspoon-sized quenelles of ricotta. To do this squeeze a heaped dessertspoonful of ricotta between 2 dessertspoons into a quenelle, an egg shape with pointed ends. Use one spoon to scoop the shape out from the other and lay onto the salad. Grate a little extra lemon zest on top and finish with a good twist of black pepper.

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This recipe is from my latest book ‘Around the World in Salads’ published by Kyle Books.

All photography by the wonderfully talented Helen Cathcart.

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