Courgette Salad with Lemon Myrtle Oil, Chilli and Mint

closeupThere’s something beautiful about summer squash. Their firm, sweet flesh requires little more than a brief flash in the pan before being served, drizzled in oil with a smattering of fragrant herbs.

I love them, whether they’re roasted, grilled, steamed or charred on a hot barbecue… particularly with lots of lemon, minted yoghurt and chilli. Perfectly easy food for summer nights.

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Over the past week, Aaron and I have eaten a lot of summer squash. Our first taste was fresh from Vicky’s garden, thick slices of charred green and yellow courgette bathed in olive oil, black pepper and herbs. We ate with sticky fingers and wide grins as the sun dropped below the horizon, breathing the scent of fresh eucalyptus on the wind.

That evening, our conversation rambled for hours. Plates were refilled, emptied and eagerly mopped up with torn ciabatta. Fresh air, open space and good company makes everything taste better. Sometimes, that’s all you need.

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Back to tonight’s courgette adventure. To be honest, it was more the product of an after-work ‘fridge hunt’ than anything else. Lucky for me, fresh goats cheese, herbs and lemons are staple refrigerator items, alongside home-cured olives, various nuts and grains.

I added these to a bag of fresh baby courgettes that I picked up at the weekend market, shiny and glistening in their skins. In an hour, dinner was on the table: roast chicken, courgette salad, hummus, garlicky tzatziki, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and olives. Summer food done simply.

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The recipe below is more of a ‘concept’ than a strict statement of quantities. It’s a dish that I make often with ingredients that I have on hand (you’ll see that I’ve added some ‘optional’ suggestions in the ingredients list) so all in all, it’s very forgiving.

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In my mind, courgettes partner beautifully with mint, however you could easily substitute coriander or basil as desired. If you’re gluten or wheat intolerant, just switch out the bulgur for cooked and cooled quinoa as a deliciously wholesome alternative.

It may go without saying, but this recipe works brilliantly with all summer squash including yellow squash, pattypans, tromboncinos and crooknecks… just ensure that they’re sliced similarly for ease of cooking.

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Courgette Salad with Macadamia Lemon Myrtle Oil, Chilli and Mint

Serves 4 as a side dish

  • 6-8 small courgettes (zucchini), washed and halved lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup fine grit bulgur (burghul)
  • 1/2 long red chilli, finely chopped (remove seeds if you’d like less heat)
  • mint and parsley leaves (about 1/4 cup in total) washed and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
  • good squeeze of lemon juice
  • about 30g goats cheese, crumbled (substitute good quality feta)
  • Brookfarm macadamia oil infused with lemon myrtle (substitute another lemon infused oil or good quality extra virgin olive oil)
  • sea salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • optional: toasted, crushed pistachio nuts or macadamias (sprinkle over to serve)
  • optional: small handful of pitted green olives, finely sliced

Heat a large griddle pan over high heat until hot but not smoking. Toss the courgettes in a little macadamia oil then lay them in a single layer onto the hot griddle, ensuring that each piece is in contact with the hotplate.

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Cook for 5 minutes each side or until cooked through and slightly charred.

Place the raw bulgur into a heatproof bowl or jug. Cover with boiling water until fully submerged, then cover with plastic wrap or an upturned plate.

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Leave for 10 minutes or until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool.

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Place the chilli, mint, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper into a small bowl (if using olives, combine at this point). Drizzle over a good slug of lemon myrtle macadamia oil, then toss to coat.

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When the bulgur has cooled, combine with the chilli, mint and lemon mixture. Mix well.

Lay the courgettes out onto a serving plate. Top with the seasoned bulgur (make sure to pour over all of the juices) then crumble over the goats cheese.

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Grind over some cracked black pepper then drizzle over some extra lemon myrtle macadamia oil. Add some chopped mint and/or toasted, crushed nuts if desired.

sideplateBrookfarm macadamia oil infused with lemon myrtle is an award-winning high quality oil produced in New South Wales, Australia. It has a high smoke point (210 degrees C / 410 degrees f) and the beautiful herbal tang of lemon myrtle, an Australian spice that is unique to the northern rivers.

Brookfarm macadamia oil infused with lemon myrtle is a wonderful accompaniment to seafood, vegetable and pasta dishes. Find stockists here.

brookfarm

Disclaimer: Brookfarm supplied me with a sample of their macadamia oil infused with lemon myrtle for the purpose of this recipe post. However, I was not compensated for this post and as always, all opinions are my own.

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74 responses

  1. You know, I’ve totally rediscovered my love for zucchini (i think that’s the same thing as your summer squash) lately! They’re so good sauteed in just some olive oil and last night I roasted one with red potatoes and acorn squash. They’re just unbeatable! Your food writing is, as always, so beautiful! And this is great inspiration for dinner next week–this combination sounds heavenly!

    • Thanks for the kind words Erika! Yep, you’re entirely right… zucchini is the Italian name for it whereas courgette is French. Yum, your roasted veggie dinner sounds delicious! It’s so true, courgette requires very little work to taste good xx

  2. “Fresh air, open space and good company makes everything taste better” – definitely agree, but this Courgette Salad looks like it would taste good even if you were all alone in a deep dark space — ah, i wish i could order it on a menu somewhere (no way good i make this)

    • Hahaha, love this Jen. Alone in a little dark corner eating courgette salad with a spoon! And YES you could make this, it sounds much harder than it is… I know you have skills ;) xx

    • I definitely understand Conor. When it’s wintry you just want a hearty plate of meat, potatoes and other hot veg (or a good curry, I’d never turn one down!). Thanks for visiting my summer post anyway!

  3. This is so dreamy and poetic, Laura. I wish you all the best in the New Year, and please do continue sharing gorgeous recipes, photos, and stories with us. I love them! This is such a delicious sounding salad, simple, fresh, what more could one wish for?

    • Aw, thank you Darya! Sending good wishes back to you also, it’s been such a pleasure sharing the previous blogging year with you! You’re an inspiration… cannot wait to share more delicious recipes and stories this year xx

    • Haha, yes the French names for things are always fancier! I think the Italian ‘zucchini’ is actually the original though. I just picked up courgette cos I’m British-born and all the supermarkets call it that! Thanks for the note Liz xx

  4. Bulgur is one of my very, very favorite grains to work with. I’m in love with both the texture and flavor, and always look for new ways to use it. Your feast looks absolutely delicious, and as you say ‘summer food done simply…’ Just perfect! I only wish I could transport myself to that eucalyptus air you talk about- we’re buried in a ton of snow!!! :)

    • It’s delicious isn’t it Emily? So easy to prepare and so deliciously nutty. Aw, wish I could transport some of our sunshine to YOU! We have too much at the moment… it’s forecasted to be 43 degrees C in the next few days. I might just try and squeeze myself into the refrigerator (or can I join you in the snow cave? Let’s swap for a day!) xxx

    • I had no idea that you lived down the road from Brookfarm! Very cool. I might be visiting Byron a bit later this year as I’m working on a recipe book project with the lovely Sam from Le Pirate, if so I’ll have to stop in and pay my respects to the grand master (you, I mean. And your lovely Jennee). I’ll bring beer and we can play cricket on bikes, yes?

  5. I am sitting here wrapped in a blanket drinking hot tea. it’s not even 10 degree’s out in NYC! Your lovely salad makes me long for spring and summer. Saving this for the warmer months when zucchini are in season. I agree the mint and chilli are wonderful with the squash. I must make this, saved!!

    • Aw, I hope you’re managing to keep warm Suzanne! Eek, we’re sitting in 40 degree C temps at the moment, I think I’d rather the blanket and hot drinks! I am loving the summer produce though. So deliciously fresh and light after the Christmas indulgences. Hope you like it when you do get a chance to give it a go xx

  6. Hey what an interesting sounding oil! Would love to try it one day in my food and cooking too. Hhmmm mover thought of courgettes with mint but it seems like a fab idea (plus, I have mint in my garden :) ) xx

    • It’s such a lovely oil! I actually just drizzled it over some ciabatta the other day and toasted the bread with some sea salt. So delicious. It’s got a herbaceous, lemony and delicate flavour like no other. Yay for mint in the garden… mine is struggling at the moment. It’s too hot for plants on the balcony so I’m now growing coriander inside. Hope that you manage to find some of the Brookfarm oil… I should send some over to you! xx

  7. This says summer, sun and outdoors to me, and much more exciting than our fridge hunt. Though I made a vegan curry last night from pantry canned goods, surprisingly good when perked up with fresh whole spices.
    I also like the enamel (?) serving spoons! Where did you find them?

    • Oh yum, curries are awesome when doing a cupboard/fridge hunt… they can be so forgiving when adding the last slightly sad veggies in the crisper (not to mention beans/coconut cream in the cupboard!). The enamel spoons are some of my favourites! They’re actually Jamie Oliver spoons, I got them with two enamel ice-cream cups from Target many months ago. Not sure if they’re still being sold but they were pretty cheap! Hope you manage to track some down xx

      • I’ve been checking out kitchenware in Target too! though maybe not when they had the spoons in stock.

        I also like fridge hunt fried rice, so many variations including ‘stir fried rice surprise’, my favourite! :-P

    • Aw, come over!!! Bring Ben, we’ll grill fish on the beach, eat loads of fresh fruit and go swimming on a balmy summer night… then go on a trip to the wine country! Well… when he escapes his law studies, that is (sigh). In the meantime, stay warm! xxx

    • Hello lovely! Yep, it’s summer over here. Smack bang in the middle of it… we’re getting temps between 30-40 degrees C at the moment! Thanks for the sweet comment. Nice to ‘meet’ you and discover your blog! xx

      • Haha, definitely get some, it’s delicious stuff! I’ll be trying to stay as cool as possible today… it’s just gone 9am and it’s already 30 degrees C, now forecasted at 44 (111.2 degrees f!!!!). Ridiculous! Take care, I’ll think of you in an attempt to feel cooler! :) x

  8. Beautiful Laura. Love the ‘concept’ idea rather than a recipe. Stunning photographs (as usual) and wonderful dinner presentation. and it is hard to imagine such a gorgeous healthy meal is prepared in an hours time.

    • Thanks so much Seana, I appreciate the lovely words as always! As for the time, I guess the benefit is that this sort of food is my ‘default’, I cook it all the time so I don’t even have to think! As for cooking a meal from scratch that I haven’t made before? Well, I’m a lot slower. An example is Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals, they usually take me about an hour or more, even if I’m rushing! xx

      • Yeah, I think most of us do cook that way. I know I do. Ha! I have never even tried to prepare a Jamie’s 30 Minute Meal. And I can’t say I would even consider timing myself. :)

  9. So refreshing to see salads on a blog post!! This looks absolutely gorgeous and after all the heavy winter eating, this looks so very good. I make a similar salad during the summer but with quinoa, and I agree, mint and courgettes are perfect together.

    • Thanks so much Naz, it’s definitely a welcome change from the over-indulgence of Christmas. In this hot weather, I want nothing more than salads at the moment… and yay, glad that you enjoy courgettes and mint as much as I do! xx

  10. Such a gorgeous summery dish Laura! The perfect weekend lunch or to accompany grilled meat from the bbq for dinner! I love the flavour of lemon myrtle, so must grab a bottle of this oil to try. :)

    • Thanks so much lovely. Definitely try the lemon myrtle oil, it’s delicious! Such a unique herbal, lemony and delicate oil. I just drizzled it onto some toasted ciabatta last night… with a sprinkle of sea salt, I was in heaven! xx

    • Haha, thanks Loretta! I guess I cook this type of food every day, so I always pick up extra lemons, mint and goats cheese when I absentmindedly walk past them at the market! x

  11. Laura, so beautiful … that photo of the mint – Wow … I love couscous in all forms and shapes. This salad I will bookmark and when the spring sun comes out … on my balcony I will do it.The macadamia oil is out my reach.
    So what I understand I will I have a date with you in July – fantastic news. So looking forward to it.

    • Thank you Viveka, it’s definitely a delicious one for warm weather. Hopefully Brookfarm will export some macadamia oil to Sweden one day, or I can bring a bottle when I come to visit! xx

    • It’s going to be 43 degrees C tomorrow!! I’m not looking forward to it! Other elements of summer are gorgeous though, I’m loving the fresh produce. Thank you lovely Ruby xx

  12. You have impeccable timing, Laura! After a year in Cairo where few fresh vegetables are imported and one is impelled to eat local, I was so very tired of courgettes that I swore off of them when we moved to Dubai. Which made me sad, because, like you, I have always been a fan of summer squash. When I arrived home after the Christmas holidays, the refrigerator was bare and on my first trip to my nearby supermarket I spied the most beautiful, shiny baby courgettes. I decided it was time. Now I know exactly what to do with them!

    • Aw, I am so glad Stace. I can definitely understand though… when you’re eating the same thing all the time it gets incredibly boring! Hope that you enjoy the recipe. Wish that I could whisk you some of the gorgeous lemon myrtle oil to try… it made such a difference xx

  13. I will be picking oodles of zucchinis from our garden in about three weeks and my favourite way of eating them is grilled.. and with mint. I must get my hands on some of that oil. Summer just isn’t summer without a huge feed of grilled zucchini… and a few Coronas.

    • It’s delicious Jen! I’d imagine that Brookfarm products would be easy to find where you are? There’s a chilli and lime one too that’s spectacular with prawns (I also used it to bake sweet potatoes; oh my gosh… so good!). Jealous of your zucchini glut. I want! If I bring the Coronas, can I come over?? xx

  14. Well, I can tell you right now that lovely macadamia nut oil is not going to be available in my corner market! However, our local olive mill makes a wonderful Meyer lemon oil which I can infuse with the myrtle we grow! Score! I have really been into tabbouleh a lot lately – something so satisfying about the bulgur. Laura – I love your posts… the exquisite photos and your prose, as well. Although half a world away, I feel as though I am with you. Dining outdoors in the evening with friends and loved ones is truly one of life’s greatest pleasures. Once my oil is infused, we will be having this in Tucson! (Although the courgettes won’t be as fresh as yours…)

    • Aw, I am sorry to hear that you can’t get lemon myrtle oil where you are David. The Meyer lemon oil with myrtle infusion sounds divine though… let me know how it works out? I want to try that idea myself! I do wish that you and Mark could be here with us right now. I’d cook up a feast and we could eat together with some delicious wine in the garden… with rich conversation til the sky grows dark and cool! That’s the problem with food blogging… the wonderful people across the other side of the world. So close, but yet so far away. I do hope that you enjoy this when you get a chance to try it xo

  15. You will make me a courgette fan, dear Laura (which I haven’t been so far) :-). Looks and sounds just fantastic – you captured the full summer flavors so beautifully in your wonderful photos… I know those fridge hunt evenings very well, too – very nice term, by the way ;-).

    • Aw, I do hope that you grow to love them Claudia! I didn’t like courgettes when I was a child but they’ve gradually grown on me. Like you say, they’re gorgeously summery and delicious in warm weather! Cheap, too. And haha… I guess all of us do the fridge hunt on busy days! Thank you for your lovely words as always xx

  16. Yum!! Love the idea of this whole combo, sound sooooo good, when I get back I’m sooo making it! :D sounds so light, fresh and summer perfect! :) great shots as well! Once again you’ve done such a lovely post :)
    Looking forward to your next post lovely! Xx

    • Naw, thanks Becca! So lovely to hear from you. I’ve loved reading your holiday posts, so gorgeous!! Definitely feeling like light food at the moment. It’s so hot! Hugs xx

  17. I just adore salads like this… I’m sure you all devouring salads all the time in that crazy heat you’ve all been experiencing! Perfectly gorgeous ingredients, I could happily eat that for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

    • We’ve definitely been eating salads like there’s no tomorrow Maria! I’ve only had the oven on once in the past week (and I was covered in sweat by the end of it, argh). Thanks for the lovely words. I definitely agree, salad can be eaten at any time of the day xx

  18. The perfect summer salad! It celebrates so much that’s wonderful about summer. And I confess I haven’t worked with bulgar. I have it on hand, sitting patiently in a bag on a shelf, so I need to use it. Pinning!

  19. Really lovely-looking combination Laura. Zucchini and mint are a marriage made in heaven. Salad season is just the best isn’t it! Love your colourful table spread. Can’t go past a good infused oil, and macadamia oil is one of our favourites. PS. Crushed pistachio nuts are never optional in my house! xx

    • Thanks Sas, I am so glad you understand the pistachio thing… haha. I put them on pretty much everything! Loving salad season. It’s been excruciatingly hot in Perth this week but salad season has made it worthwhile xx

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