Griddled Courgette with Chickpea Salsa

23 Sep

I love vegetables, and I love vegetarian cooking, but it has to be said that the veggies amongst us often feel slightly left out at the dinner table. Time and time again I see ‘goats cheese tart with red onion marmalade’ and ‘stuffed peppers’ and ‘pasta bake’ and I just think to myself that SURELY somebody somewhere must have come up with some more inspiring (yet easy and healthy) recipes for veggies?!

No, I’m not a veggie. I do however think that it’s important to eat more veggies. If that means one day a week of only veggie meals, or including more vegetables per meal, so be it – as long as we’re all eating MORE. They are good for you, they provide lots of fibre which, well, I think we all know that it helps with happy poos (yay) – but when you look at the implications of the happy poo, it helps to keep your colons happy too (and as such has been linked to a reduced risk of colon cancer) and while we’re down at that end, reduced risk of haemorrhoids too. It’s also linked to lower cholesterol levels (and as such, reduced risk of certain types of heart disease) and helps to keep sugar levels in the blood pretty stable (especially important for anyone at increased risk of diabetes). Basically, it’s important. And most vegetables have a lotttttttttttt of it. Win. It also keeps you fuller for longer. Double win. And they’re packed full of nutritious goodness, are relatively low kcal and are just generally awesome little natural tasty goodies. Triple win. It’s out there, I LOVE VEGGIES. Yes, even brussels sprouts!

This is something that PD made up for me a couple of weeks ago when I was pretty busy making up the wedding cake, and it was honestly one of the nicest vegetarian dishes I have had in an incredibly long time. It did take a little while to griddle up all the courgette slices, so I would say that if you’ve got a big griddle or two you’re probably a step ahead already, but it was most definitely worth it. It’s full of flavour and would be a wonderful dish for a Med. spread, a great starter for an Indian meal (or any meal actually), or just as a simple lunch or supper.

Sorry for the poor photos – we were all so hungry that we’d ploughed into it before anyone had had a chance to take a good photo! The photo really doesn’t do it justice. It was lush.

Recipe (the recipe is one by Anjum Anand for Sainsbury’s food magazine)

Serves 4 (as a starter or light meal)

  • 4 large courgettes

Pistachio dressing (can be made a couple of days in advance and kept in the fridge)

  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled
  • 15 shelled pistachios
  • 2½ tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp water

Chickpea salsa

  • 1 410g tin cooked chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 100g feta cheese
  • ½ small red onion, finely chopped
  • A large handful fresh coriander, leaves and roots (1 31g bag)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice or to taste
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1 medium tomato, finely chopped
  • 2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  1. Heat the griddle pan until quite hot. Slice the courgettes on the diagonal into thin slices, no more than 1/2cm thick. Drizzle with oil and place on the griddle in a single layer and cook, undisturbed for 2-3 minutes or until the base has well-charred lines. Turn over and repeat on the other side. Repeat with the remaining courgettes.
  2. Meanwhile, gently toast the cumin in a small frying pan over a medium heat until aromatic (a minute or so). Tip into a bowl and stir in the chickpeas, lemon juice, tomato and red onion and season to taste.
  3. Blend together all the ingredients for the dressing in a food processor until smooth. Adjust seasoning and keep aside.
  4. To assemble, place the courgettes on plates, slightly overlapping at the edges. You can do this in lines or in a circular fashion. Drizzle over the dressing to mirror the pattern. Toss the coriander into the chickpea salsa and scatter over the courgettes, along with the crumbled feta cheese. Serve, and enjoy!
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2 Responses to “Griddled Courgette with Chickpea Salsa”

  1. wartica September 23, 2012 at 3:04 pm #

    Once I read “chickpea” , I was absolutely sold; thanks for the great recipe:)

    jonwatersauthor.com

  2. DrinksAndNibbles September 23, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

    You’re welcome! Let me know what you think if you try it – we really enjoyed it our end 🙂

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