Fried courgettes with herbed ricotta and toasted walnuts
“My grandmother cored themPeter Balakian, from Zucchini
with a serrated knife
with her hands that had come through the slaughter
so many hours I stared at the blotch
marks on her knuckles
her strong fingers around the
long green gourd”
Here is a quick recipe for a hearty Mediterranean lunch using courgettes – the toasted walnuts and the walnut oil lift it well out of the ordinary, just serve with some crusty bread and maybe some salami. Alternatively, you can serve it as a side with roast lamb, or with white fish and roasted aubergine.
If you don’t have time to dry-fry the walnuts it’s not the end of the world, but follow this link to discover why dry frying brings out the flavour of these lovely nuts.
You can serve this warm, or at room temperature.
Recipe for fried courgettes, with herbed ricotta and toasted walnuts
- 1 large courgette (150g/5 oz)
- olive oil for frying
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed with a little salt
- a stem or so of mint
- about 3 stems of basil
- 250g/1 cup ricotta – you may not need quite as much as this
- 1 generous tbsp of capers
- 2 tbsps of chopped walnuts
- 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 3 tbsps walnut oil
- Take the ricotta out of the fridge.
- In a large frying pan, dry fry the walnuts for a minute or two. Remove and set aside.
- Warm some olive oil in a frying pan.
- Slice the courgettes into coins and fry quite fiercely – to get golden.
- Peel and crush the garlic with some salt if you haven’t already done this, reduce the heat, add the garlic.
- Meanwhile snip the mint and basil into the ricotta (saving a little for garnish. Grind in some pepper.
- Take the courgettes and garlic off the heat. Mix in the walnut oil, the sherry vinegar, and the capers.
- Add that mix to the ricotta mix.
- Serve, with the walnuts scattered over the top and the remaining herbs snipped over.