Marinated Courgette and Coriander Salad
Courgettes grow like the clappers – fast. So you have to be vigilant and collect them every day or you end up with huge marrows and whilst the odd marrow is not to be despised, too many can be a problem, especially as most country people are desperate to give them away at this time of year. Courgettes harvested young and tender are perfect in this salad, based on the classic à la Grecque theme – serve it as a starter with chunks of sourdough bread or as an accompaniment to grilled chicken or fish.
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This recipe first appeared in Sainsbury’s Magazine (July 2002).
First place a frying pan over a medium heat and, as soon as it gets hot, measure the coriander seeds straight into it. What they need now is to dry-roast, and this will take 1–2 minutes. Shake the pan from time to time to toss them around a bit and, as soon as they start to jump, remove them from the heat and tip them straight into a mortar.
Now place the pan back over the heat and, as soon as it is hot, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and gently soften the onion and garlic in it for about 10 minutes. Now coarsely crush the coriander seeds along with the peppercorns using a pestle. Next measure the wine vinegar and wine and pour this in to join the onion along with the crushed coriander and peppercorns, the lemon juice and a little salt. Bring it all up to a simmer and then turn the heat down and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
To prepare the courgettes: don’t peel them, just wipe each one, trim off the ends and cut into 1 in (2.5 cm) diagonal or round chunks. Now add these to the sauce together with the chopped tomato, then stir well, put the lid on and simmer over a gentle heat for about 15 minutes, or until they’re tender but still retain some ‘bite’.
Now carefully stir in the fresh coriander leaves, transfer the whole lot to a serving dish to cool, then cover and chill until you need it, but don’t forget to bring it back to room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil and garnish with the sprigs of fresh coriander.
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If you grow courgettes then this recipe is superb for serving the ones that – if you don't keep a sharp eye on them – become baby marrows overnight. If you don't, then this is still a superb way to serve courgettes as a salad with cold cuts.
This makes a filling and enjoyable meal for 4 from a few cheap ingredients - even more so if you grow your own courgettes and have a glut to use up. Add fresh herbs, eggs and parmesan-style cheese for a wonderful vegetarian recipe.
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