Courgette, Chilli & Basil Salad & Cheese plates

My Salad of the Month – possibly Year

Courgette, Chilli & Basil Salad

Courgette Salad a la Oliver/Chiappa

Boy it’s been hot the last few weeks.  Though I longed for some warmth for most of last year, I have to admit working in this heat is not a joy.  It doesn’t make one very hungry either.

We, the Dark Lord (my partner in life) & I, have taken to ‘cheese plates’ (the Dark Lord’s passion – is it possible I am shacked up with the Abyssal Wallace – and further does that make me the Fairy Gromit?).

Back to cheese plates.  I add some salad to try to counteract the fat content with some greenery.

I have found this gem from Jamie Oliver.  Lovely ribbons of paper thin courgette, tiny diced chilli, basil leaves & a mustard vinaigrette.  Heaven!  I make the dressing & keep it with the other ingredients in the fridge and just shave off a few ribbons of courgette as and when I need something that tastes sinfully good in this heat.

Here’s Jamie’s recipe (Thank you Jamie & Ms Chiappa):  http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetables-recipes/michela-chiappa-s-zucchini-salad

I make it slightly differently because I like it all green: green courgettes, green chillis.  I also expect Jamie used a mandolin but they scare me to death so I use a potato peeler – the sort with blades that are 90 degrees to the handle.

Also quantities:  Half a medium courgette & half a chilli make enough for us two for lunch with about 1/4 of the viniagrette.

More about Cheese for budget cheeseplaters – To keep the budget from blowing up, I buy 3 different cheeses a month and cheddar more often as a back stop.  Usually I buy Brie or Camembert, Stilton & a random one other.  Stilton being the favourite of the dark force.  We have a sliver of each plus something like a slice of quiche or ham, bread or cheese biscuits, olives & tomatoes and of course a salad of my invention.

All of the above ingredients most supermarkets have in a cheap basics, essentials or savers type range.  The cheap cheese is really not at all bad.  If we are in the money, we might have one really good cheese which lifts all the rest.  I have a yen for the lovely, stinky Epoisse but that really is for special occasions.

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About Faith

This is a country blog from an ex-city girl who is delighting in country pursuits as only someone with the huge rose-tinted spectacles of ignorance can. View all posts by Faith

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