Un-lock Your Inner Vegetarian…

Caldesi Admin on 24 May, 2016

To celebrate National Vegetarian week I’m posting some recipes that will tempt even the most dedicated carnivores to ditch the meat and enjoy some fresh, in-season, flavourful and health giving veg.
My first is a delicious and stylish dish where the humble courgette is the star of the show…
Courgette and Courgette Flower Carpaccio with Ricotta
This is light and lovely with a delicious floral sweetness from the melon. To make the salad even prettier, tear a few bright yellow courgette flowers into the salad if you have them. We have a small melon baller to make the pearls but if you don’t have one simply cut the melon into small cubes instead.
Serves 4–6
For the dressing
½–1 red or green chilli, according to taste, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, finely grated
finely grated zest of ½ lemon plus extra to garnish
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the salad
3 medium courgettes, thinly sliced
4 round tomatoes, diced or 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 red pepper, deseeded and finely sliced
a handful of basil leaves, tough stems discarded
½ honeydew or cantaloupe melon (about 150g flesh), cut into pearls
100g ricotta, drained.
 
Make the dressing by mixing the ingredients together in a bowl. Season to taste and set aside.
Arrange a layer of courgette slices, tomatoes and red pepper strips onto one large serving plate or individual ones. Pour over a little dressing. Add the remaining sliced vegetables on top followed by the remaining dressing. (At this point the salad will keep for a few hours in the fridge if you wanted to serve it later).
Just before serving, scatter over the basil leaves and melon pearls and top with teaspoon-sized quenelles of ricotta. To do this squeeze a heaped dessertspoonful of ricotta between 2 dessertspoons into a quenelle, an egg shape with pointed ends. Use one spoon to scoop the shape out from the other and lay onto the salad. Grate a little extra lemon zest on top and finish with a good twist of black pepper.
CourgetteCarpaccio copy 2
 
This recipe is from my latest book ‘Around the World in Salads’ published by Kyle Books.
All photography by the wonderfully talented Helen Cathcart.
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