Although I think the trend of substituting spiralised courgettes for pasta is a waste of time and energy, when they’re still raw and used as a salad, thin strips (either curled or straight) bring freshness and crunch and are an excellent carrier of a good dressing. They’re a cooling, versatile side salad that I’d happily eat with pretty much any fish, pork or tofu (and probably a great deal more).
The dressing for this side is made from Japanese condiments: sweet mirin, sour rice vinegar and savoury sesame oil. Frozen, ready-podded edamame (soya) beans fit the theme and are widely available, but use broad beans or peas if you can’t find them.
- Yield: 6 Servings
- 500 g courgettes, ideally a mixture of yellow and green
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 150 g podded edamame beans, defrosted
- 15 mint leaves, finely chopped
- Cut a quarter of the courgettes into 2–3 cm thick wedges. Use a handheld julienne peeler to create long, thin strips down the remaining courgettes. When doing this, imagine the courgette has four sides, peel until you reach the floury, seeded middle, then turn to peel the next side and repeat all the way round. You could use a spiraliser or a mandolin to create the same effect.
- Combine the sesame oil, mirin and rice vinegar by putting them in a jar or dressing bottle or bowl and shaking or whisking them together until emulsified.
- Put the edamame and courgette wedges and ribbons in a serving bowl, add the mint and toss. About 5 minutes before eating, mix in the dressing and ensure all surfaces are coated.