Courgette and Butterbean Salad

If you know anyone with an allotment you’re about to be bombarded with a bumper crop of courgettes.  At least that was my experience last year as my Dad and his girlfriend tried desperately to unload the mountains of courgettes they couldn’t eat quick enough.  The good news is, it’s the perfect time to bring back this salad – served warm or chilled, it’s fresh and filling with a good bite from the pink peppercorn dressing.  This classic appears in a few guises on my menus – from a winter version with sprouts replacing the courgettes, to a cosier autumnal one which dresses the courgettes in a preserved lemon and smoked garlic dressing.  But this summer cracker is the original – and whether you get your courgettes from the supermarket or the ground, they’re at their best right now!

Ingredients

Serves 4-5

1 large or 2 medium courgettes

1 can butterbeans

1 lemon

1 garlic clove

1tsp pink peppercorns

A good handful of fresh parsley

Cooking olive oil

A glug of good quality olive oil

Sea salt

 

Method

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C.  Slice the courgettes into rounds about 1cm thick.  Drizzle in cooking olive oil and sprinkle over a nice pinch of sea salt, crumbling it between your fingers as you do.  Roast the courgettes for 18-20minutes until they’re nicely browned, turning over half was through.  When done, take out and set aside.
  2. Crush your clove of garlic and zest your lemon, then gently fry the garlic over a low heat while your butterbeans are draining (make sure they’re well drained or else the additional water will make the courgettes soggy when you combine them).  Cook the garlic for a few minutes, until you can smell it, and add your butterbeans and lemon zest to the pan.  Make sure the pan isn’t too hot as it’ll dry the butterbeans out and burn the lemon zest.  After about 5 minutes, once the beans have got a nice sear, add in the courgettes to warm through with the beans, garlic and zest.  Remove from pan and place in a bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl make the dressing with the juice of half a lemon to two parts olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and the pink peppercorns crushed or ground.  Whisk thoroughly.  Chop your parsley nice and finely.
  4. Toss the parsley through the courgette and butterbean mixture, saving a small handful back for garnish.  Either clingfilm and chill your salad for later, dressing it just before service, or dress straight away and enjoy warm!