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Joanna’s food: Lemony courgette salad recipe review


Photo: Wobbly photo of half eaten lemony courgette salad

I harvested our first courgette of the year this morning. We have several courgette plants growing in large pots and a few scattered at the corners of borders in the kitchen garden. I’m not very keen on courgettes per se but have discovered that they are great added to a slow cooked spaghetti sauce or the filling for a Cottage or Shepherd’s pie. So this year we are growing them in earnest. They can be blanched/cooked and frozen for use during the winter months. Courgettes are quite pricey so we’re longing for a glut.

I have been planning the arrival of our first courgette for quite some time. Almost two years ago I spotted a recipe for Lemony Courgette Salad  on Joanna’s Food. Every time that I mentioned this to Danny, he pulled a mournful face at the thought of raw courgette. This morning when I appeared with a single courgette, he looked suspicious.
“We’re having a pizza tonight with a few salad side dishes.”
“Are you going to make That Courgette Salad. The lemony one?”
“Yes. But I’ll only make a tiny salad, using half a courgette. Insurance – as we might not like it.”

As so often happens I discovered that our pine nuts were well past by their sell by date. I didn’t have much fresh lemon either and didn’t have time to harvest herbs from the garden. So I used Italian lemon infused white wine vinegar, honey, virgin olive oil, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a good dash of ground white pepper. I sliced the half courgette finely in the Magimix.

The result was superb.
“I do wish that you’d used the whole courgette. This is crunchy and sublime. I never would have guessed that I was eating raw courgette.”

Joanna. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

*There is just one essential fact to mention. Joanna has only ever used fresh home grown courgettes. They do taste quite different, much sweeter and softer than their supermarket cousins. I have no idea how this recipe would turn out using a less fresh courgette. I’d love to hear about your experiences if you try this recipe using supermarket courgettes. Even if was only half a courgette.

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  1. Just feasted on our fourth garden courgette harvest using this recipe and it was a huge hit. I used a bed of very thin flash fried rice noodles, local Herts honey (light and quite flowery) and had loads of coriander to use up so that went in too, along with some very finely chopped spring onion. The pine nuts are quite important to the accord and help to make this extremely more-ish. Will definitely do this one again. Thanks!

  2. Joanna

    Fiona – thank you for such a rave review 🙂 … and I’m really glad Danny liked it so much. I love that salad, start longing for it by the end of spring, much the nicest thing to do with a courgette, and, as you say, surprising.

    Very good idea about grating the glut to freeze for muffins / cake

    And I’ve often used past their sell by date pine nuts, fine if you toast them – I suppose it’s a little like making toast with stale bread …

    Thanks again

  3. recipe cooker

    Me and my family love courgettes, in all shapes and forms. I always happy to meet new recipe. Thanks.

  4. Linda

    I found out how lovely this was last year – can’t remember where I saw it, possible one of the Sunday colour supplements. As with most things, I pare it down to as few ingredients as possible, so its olive oil, lemon juice and basil in a bowl – 3 x olive oil, 1 x lemon and a good pinch of herbs.
    I have one of those little hand held peelers that makes matchstick thickness strips. It is so easy to add the strips to the bowl, mix, then eat straight away. Lovely and crunchy.
    We have two tiny courgettes just ready – the first of the year. I’m going to pick them now for lunch!

  5. Wendy

    I have been outside staring at my first courgette today. I think it is starting to suspect that I have plans for it involving some lemon! x

  6. Tamara

    Sounds a great recipe, my husband not fond on them maybe this will bring him around, I on the other hand love courgettes and am always looking for new ways to use them.
    We have loads growing this year, although not as successful as previous years unfortunately.
    I grow a mixture of plants and I especially like the yellow ones as I realised I kept losing some green ones as I could not see them growing behind the leaves, the yellow ones stand out well.
    Fresh is best though, I find the supermarket ones so watery, and they don’t come with the delicious flowers.

  7. Pamela

    OOh, this does sound good. I love courgettes and use them in all sorts of things. My friend in Canada just grates them and freezes them when she has a glut and uses loads of them in muffins. Have you tried adding them to a pizza? Run a potato peeler down the length of the courgette and add the ribbons to the pizza before baking it. You can tart up a boring cheap pizza very successfully with courgette. Grated courgette is good in a frittata too.

  8. Joanna

    Lol that title woke me up this morning. I used to use lemons frequently with courgettes and we also used courgettes in absolutely everything when we grew them in the garden because if you turn your back on them for a day they are marrows by the end of it – well that is what it felt like. I used to use courgettes in cakes, grated into all sorts of dishes (disguising them from the kids), baked, steamed – you name it I did it! And if they do turn into marrows I recommend marrow and ginger jam.

  9. Linda Moss

    Finally inspired to comment after reading your blog for ages. Shop bought are perfectly acceptable – I’ve even used some that aren’t quite as fresh as they should be (last weekend for example) – just leave them to marinate a little longer. I use the Sainted Delia’s recipe – which only uses oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and herbs – and it’s yummy. I also often add feta, capers and toasted pine nuts when I need more zing! I shall certainly try this new dressing next time I make it.

  10. michelle sheets

    That sounds wonderful Fiona, and every recipe that you recomended you have never steered me wrong.
    Since you tried it, I have a thought.
    I have some preserved lemons hiding in the back of the fridge, do you think a little of that minced up into the dressing would be good, or too much?

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