I call this salad Italian because of the mozzarella of course. But in fact mint isn’t used so much in Italy, where each region has its own penchant, but basil and borage abound.
Of course, if you can get some fresh, ‘real’ mozzarella the whole thing becomes sublime – and if you are in London, you are in luck. The supplier you want is the urban dairy, La Latteria.
It goes very well with A Black Salad with Aubergines and Sesame – the two salads together, and a loaf of crusty farmhouse, would make a hearty lunch.
Here’s how to make it.
Recipe for an Italian courgette salad
- 1 medium-sized zucchini
- 4 tbsps good finishing olive oil
- A few mint leaves and some mint flowers if there are any there
- 200g/7 oz mozzarella
- 2 tbsps pine nuts
- smoked salt and freshly ground pepper
- Boil a full kettle of water.
- Put the zucchini, whole, into a shallow dish just big enough for it to lie flat. Pour in the boiling water to cover. Salt generously. Leave for a couple of minutes.
- Meanwhile dry fry the pine nuts.
- Drain the mozzarella well and slice. Lay out on a smallish serving platter.
- Take the zucchini out of the water, and slice thinly. Put into a bowl with the olive oil, torn mint leaves, and the seasoning. Leave for a few minutes for the mint to infuse into the zucchini.
- Distribute the zucchini mixture over the mozzarella, and then mix the two together so the mozzarella is covered by the dressed courgette.
- Serve, garnished with mint flowers and pine nuts.