Tahini Dressed Courgette and Green Bean Salad

Recipe copied from “River Cottage Veg Every Day!”by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

This lovely dish is as much about the dressing as the salad. It’s the kind of thick, trickling dressing that Yotam Ottolenghi does so well, and it gives a Middle Eastern edge and a bit of body to all kinds of salads and veg assemblies. It’s particularly good whenever courgettes [zucchini] or aubergines [eggplant] – grilled, barbecued or fried – are part of the mix, hence the salad that follows and the serving suggestion for chargrilled summer veg. It works with lentils, other pulses, spelt and quinoa too. And its coating consistency makes it ideal to use as a dip-cum-dressing for crudités and rolled-up lettuce leaves.

Prep Time 10-15 minutes Cook Time 5 minutes

FOR THE TAHINI DRESSING 1/2 garlic clove, crushed with a little coarse sea salt 2 tablespoons light tahini (stir the jar well first) Finely grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon Juice of 1/2 orange 1/2 teaspoon clear honey 2 tablespoons olive oil Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

FOR THE SALAD 2 tablespoons olive oil 3 medium courgettes (about 400g*), sliced into 3mm [very thin] rounds Juice of 1/2 lemon 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped About 125g French [green] beans, trimmed 4 good handfuls of salad leaves 12-18 oven dried tomatoes or semi-dried tomatoes (optional) A handful of mint, finely shredded (optional)

Method 1.  To make the tahini dressing, put the crushed garlic into a small bowl with the tahini, lemon zest and juice, honey and a grind of black pepper, and stir together well. The dressing may thicken and go grainy or pastey, but don’t worry. Just thin it down by whisking in a little water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you get a creamy, trickling consistency. Finally, gently stir in the olive oil. Taste and add a little more salt and pepper if needed. The dressing is now ready to use. 2.  For the salad, heat the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a fairly high heat and cook the courgette slices in batches, tossing them occasionally, for a few minutes until tender and browned on both sides, transferring them to a bowl once cooked. 3.  When the courgettes are all cooked, season generously with salt and pepper, add the lemon juice and chilli and toss together well. 4.  Bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Tip in the French beans, return to the boil and blanch for 1 minute. Drain, then dunk in cold water to refresh. Drain again, pat dry with a clean tea towel and toss the beans with the courgettes. 5.  To assemble the salad, spread the salad leaves in a large shallow serving bowl and scatter over the dressed courgettes and beans, tomatoes and shredded mint, if using. Trickle the tahini dressing generously over the whole lot and serve.