Saturday, 9 June 2012


Courgette, Mint and Rocket Salad

“You made the bread?” An incredulous young friend asked the other day as I served pasta with a homemade aubergine and tomato sauce, salad with a hunk of homemade bread.

“Yes of course” I said and went on to apologise that he’d probably had the same sauce the last time he visited.

Later, after he’d left, my daughter explained that lots of her friends couldn’t believe that I cooked so much from scratch. “Most of their families buy ready-made lasagnes and pasta sauces Mum..we’re unusual!”

It got me thinking though.

I don’t feel unusual.

I love food.

 I am conscious of what we put in our bodies and where it comes from. Especially now we have a young vegetarian to cater for as well.

After reading a recent article I realized I’m more of a Rachel Khoo girl than a Nigella. 
When I was growing up we always had simple homemade food, used the left-overs up and I do the same now.

When it comes to recipes I can’t stand the ones that have lists of expensive complicated things that take days to source.

OK so I have moved from my studio apartment in Paris back to England and now have a family but the essence of what I cook and how we eat has remained the same.

 I, like Khoo, prefer simple ingredients and inexpensive but tasty recipes.

Good ingredients and delicious flavours are more important to me.

Rocket from the garden

I love food that fits the seasons.

 For any of your here England you will understand that this is quite tricky at the moment with the gales and torrential rain we have been having this week.

However I took advantage of the break in the clouds today to have lunch in the garden and try the Courgette salad with Fresh Mint and Rocket from the Two Greedy Italians cook book- by Antonio Carluccio and Gennaro Contaldo.

I modified it a bit as I had run out of balsamic vinegar so used white wine vinegar and changed the quantities from the original to suit us.

The courgette plants in my little vegetable plot have still to flower but the mint and the rocket were both home grown so it felt even more satisfying to eat.

As we sat and ate in the sunshine, amongst the herbs and roses that are looking beautiful it felt wonderful to be outside, to have some warmth on our skin and to have fresh tasty food on our plates that only took minutes to prepare.


So keep this recipe to hand if the weather’s delicious.

Courgette, mint and rocket salad


Preparation time only 3 minutes plus 10 minutes to marinate
Served 4 as a side dish.


1 clove of garlic finely chopped
3 tbsp of white wine vinegar
6 tbsp olive oil
2 small courgettes – sliced very thinly length wise
A handful of rocket
3 handfuls of fresh mint.. I started off with one but felt my handfuls were too small so used 3
Black pepper


1.     Whisk the olive oil and vinegar in a large bowl adding the garlic and chopped mint.

2.     Thinly slice the courgettes length wise. I used the side of the grater to get them wafer thin

3.     Add the courgettes to the dressing coating them well and let them marinate for 10 minutes or more.

4.     When you are ready to serve put the courgette mixture on a plate and sprinkle with the rocket and black pepper.

Coffee and blueberries

All finished off with fresh blueberries and a coffee.

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