Courgette Ribbons In Lemon & Oregano Dressing

Salmoriglio is used all over Sicily, mainly for dressing fish, and each cook has their own special way of making it.

This sauce has revolutionised the way we eat vegetables – you can use it over steamed cauliflower, carrot ribbons, mangetout (snow peas) or sugar snap peas. The salting and sauce allow the vegetables to keep well in the fridge for a couple of days and they make a really healthy and delicious snack when you are feeling peckish. The salmoriglio sauce will keep for up to four days.

Serves 4–6

  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) courgettes (zucchini) (around 4 medium)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • freshly ground black pepper, to serve

For the dressing

  • large handful (approximately 15 g/½ oz) of parsley
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 heaped teaspoon dried or fresh oregano
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Wash the courgettes and trim away the tops and tails. Use a potato peeler to slice them into ribbons. I usually do this until it becomes hard to hold them, then I lay the courgettes on a board and continue to scrape away without the fear of injury.

Put the ribbons into a bowl with the salt and lemon juice. Toss with your hands to combine and set aside for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the dressing. Finely chop the parsley and garlic together on a board with a large cook’s knife and put into a bowl. Pour over 3 tablespoons of boiling water and add the oregano. Use the back of a spoon to press the herbs and garlic down in the water – this helps to release the essential oils and adds to the flavour. Pour in the oil and set aside to cool.

Take the courgettes from their bowl and give them a gentle squeeze in your fist to rid them of excess water. Put them into a large mixing bowl. Pour over the dressing and, using tongs, toss to combine. Serve straight away on a platter and sprinkle over a little freshly crushed black pepper.

Palm Beach ChicSicily: Recipes from an Italian island by Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi
(Hardie Grant, £25) Photography © Helen Cathcart Buy now