Friday, 7 January 2011

Polpo's courgette salad

I don't like courgettes. Not usually unless they are deep-fried and covered in salt. Otherwise, they are just water in fancy dress.

But this salad really makes the best of them and it is really very delicious. I pinched it off Polpo, which for those who don't know, is like a tapas-y style Venetian restaurant in Soho, which is very hip at the moment. Raw and cut into strips, the courgettes retain a meaty, interesting flavour that you kill almost immediately if you boil them.

And (although my photo is typically shit, I'm getting my other camera fixed soon, I promise) it looks pretty, if that's your thing.

The ingredients look quite unpromising, but altogether they make a very delicious thing, which is simple to assemble and everyone likes it.

Polpo's Courgette Salad for 2

1 large courgette
about 20 parmesan shavings (you could also use pecorino)
the juice of half-to-3/4 of a lemon
the best quality olive oil you can get your hands on

1 Cut the courgette into strips using a speed peeler or a japanese mandolin

2 Put in a serving dish and pour over a few glugs of olive oil, the cheese, salt and lemon juice. Mix around to combine - it's easiest to do with your hands although you do get them totally covered in olive oil

This is really nice with something rich, maybe a rose veal chop, or chicken schnitzl.


  1. I tried this twice, once the way I imagined in my head and once the way Esther actually said to do it. This is probably obvious, but just in case you're an idiot like me, you really do need to use a peeler or a mandolin. Don't think you can just slice the things with a knife, because thickly sliced this vegetable sort of tastes like an insidious combination of paper, sandpaper, and overcooked potato. Yum.

  2. I just tried this as I had a spare courgette in the fridge and a spare Japanese mandolin that I bought at the Ballymaloe shop ages ago but never used. It's surprisingly good. I didn't even put the parmesan in (as I didn't have any), but added some pepper and salt ... and it rocked.

  3. Delicious!! Made it twice in one weekend. Two more organic courgettes in the fridge - wont have to wait for long :)