August really is the month in Ireland for home grown Mediterranean‘ vegetables although in fact they are actually fruits! Tomatoes, aubergine peppers and courgettes are sun loving fruits that are eaten as vegetables. The sun loving being the reason they take all summer to ripen.
Our courgettes have been taking their time. We’re still hovering around the plants wondering whether there are any ready to pick, which is in fact a good thing. Baby courgettes are the sweetest and tastiest and delicious in salads.
We’ve been eating a courgette, green bean, basil and pea salad – having an abundance of green beans at hand and cheating with peas. It’s delightful combination of textures and summery flavor
The peas and beans are blanched but the courgettes are raw but don’t seem so. They are salted and rinsed before being dressed which gives them a crisp but tender bite .
Check out the farmers markets and local growers as courgettes grown close to home will be fresher and taste better. If you can find little yellow ones they’ll be great for the colour scheme but green ones taste equally as good.
Courgette, Green Bean and Pea salad
250g French beans
1-2 small courgettes
200g fresh peas -= frozen is good
handful fresh basil
100mls olive oil
zest 1 lemon
juice of half or to taste
1 clove garlic
1/2tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper
Slice the courgettes thinly, sprinkle with salt and toss well.
Put aside in a bowl or colander for at least 15minutes.
Top and tail the beans. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add a half tsp salt and the beans. Cook for 4 minutes then lift out of the water and drop into a bowl of cold water. Let them cool then drain
Bring the water back to the boil then add the peas. Cook for 1 minute the drain and drop into cold water to cool. Drain and shake off excess water.
Rinse the courgettes, take a handful at a time and squeeze to remove the water. Repeat until all the courgettes are done
Put the courgettes, french beans and peas into a bowl, roughly chop the basil and add then season with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper. Grate the lemon zest on top of the vegetables
Peel and chop the garlic. Whisk the garlic, lemon juice and Dijon mustard together then whisk in the olive oil. Season with a little salt
Gently toss the dressing with the vegetables. Add more salt or lemon to taste.
Lettercollum Kitcheb Project are hosting two events for the Taste of West Cork festival in September. The first on Friday 6thSeptember is ‘Dinner from the Garden’, a seven course tasting menu shared around the kitchen table at Lettercollum and the second is “A Taste of Valencia’, tapas and paella accompanied by music and flamenco dancing in O’Donovans hotel on Tuesday 10thSeptember. Tickets for both events are available at the shop or by email.