UPDATED! SUMMER COURGETTE SALAD (V+, GF, NF, GrF)

NOTE: The pictures were updated and the recipe improved in June 2015 :)

I am happily married and very much in love with my husband. He is wonderful and no other man can compare. BUT despite this I allow myself the occasional harmless crush. And one of these crushes just happens to be on the amazing Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall! His commitment to good, honest, wholesome food is infectious. His program on the exploitation of our oceans made me re-think my love of eating fish and his cookbook Veg Every Day is undoubtedly in my top 5 of best vegetarian cookbooks ever. It is on one of the recipes in that cookbook that this easy dish here is based.

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Preparation Time:
10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes
Serves: 2 - 3

Ingredients:
4 medium Courgettes (about 500g)
5 tbsp of rice bran oil (or vegetable oil of your choice)
1 large garlic clove, finely cut
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
A handful of finely chopped fresh mint leaves (optional)
A handful of hazelnuts (omit or replace with seeds for nut-free option)
Salt and pepper to taste
A drizzle of balsamic vinegar

Sesame seeds to garnish (optional)

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Instructions:

Top and tail the courgettes, then cut them lengthwise into thin slices using a potato peeler. Once sliced, put the courgettes in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of oil and use your hands to toss the courgettes lightly, thereby spreading the oil evenly over them.
Heat a large frying pan over a fairly high heat, stir fry the courgettes in batches for about 2 minutes, until tender and golden. Transfer to a shallow dish.

Take the frying pan off the heat and let it cool down a bit. Add the remaining oil, the garlic, hazelnuts and the lemon zest. Heat gently for a few minutes. Pour this mixture as well as a sprinkle of salt and pepper and a dash of balsamic vinegar over the courgette. Finally, sprinkle the fresh, chopped mint leaves on top and the sesame seeds if using. You can serve this salad hot or cold, as a starter or as a side salad. Yum yum.

Looking for more salad recipes? Just click here.

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