I didn’t plan to share this courgette strip salad this week, but given the state of our kitchen it suddenly seemed like the perfect recipe.
The state of our kitchen being completely without electricity, which is made even more frustrating by the fact we’re not even in the middle of a renovation, despite it very much needing one!
We live in an old villa and despite it being rewired, the electricity started going on the blink a few months ago. The scenario usually goes something like this: main fuse blows, Chewie gets scared and tries to run outside, we switch all the fuses and EVERY SINGLE appliance off, then slowly switch things on one by one to see if we can find the fault. This isn’t so bad so long as it’s daylight and I’m not in the middle of cooking.
Usually after some down time everything eventually turns back on, we can’t see any obvious fault so we put it down to a freak occurance. We’ve had an electrician in and after going through the same process he concluded the fault was most likely moisture in an outside light….that we hardly ever use.
Fast forward to this morning, a particularly cold Autumn morning, when Nick turned the heat pump on. Within seconds everything blew. Luckily we still had hot water, but unlike previous times, we couldn’t get much else to work like the toaster or kettle. So Nick went to work with no breakfast, despite me offering to make him porridge on the gas stove, as I suspect he secretly wanted to use the opportunity to get something much more exciting. This left me to slowly switch everything back on, but this time I had no such luck.
So while we wait for another electrician to come tomorrow, our kitchen is powerless except for the gas stove, I’ve emptied out the fridge (did you know food only stays cold for 4 hours in a fridge without power? 24 hours in a freezer and up to 48 if it’s full), and due to the lack of fresh food in the house we’ll head out for dinner (yay!).
I’ve had time to reflect on just how reliant we are on electricity and how lucky we are to be living in a time and place where you can just flip a switch and have instant power. Which brings me back to this weeks recipe. This salad is very minimalistic yet not lacking in flavour whatsoever! Like most salads you don’t need any power to make it, with the exception of the almond dukkah which can be made ahead of time, so it’s the kind of salad you could make say if you’re ever without electricity!
This salad is fresh, vibrant, and full of green goodness. There’s a decent serving of healthy fats from the avocado, nuts and seeds, not to mention protein, and it can be whipped up in mere minutes. I’ve paired it with a turmeric vinaigrette but if that seems to complicated, or you simply like to keep ingredients to a minimum, then a simple combination of fresh lemon juice and tahini shaken in a jar would also work amazingly.
The almond dukkah recipe below will make much more than you need for this salad, but it’s so delicious and versatile you can literally sprinkle it on anything for a flavour boost (which you’ll have seen me doing on Instagram!). I hope you enjoy this minimalist salad and if you make it and post a picture be sure to tag me so I can come and admire! Enjoy.
Courgette, Avocado and Kale Salad with Almond Dukkah
Prep time: 30 minutes
2 large handfuls baby spinach or baby kale leaves
1 ripe avocado
Turmeric Vinaigrette Dressing:
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice (approximately 1 lemon)
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 small red chilli, finely chopped
2cm piece fresh ginger, finely grated
pinch of pink Himalayan salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 Tbsp black sesame seeds
1 Tbsp white sesame seeds
1 Tbsp fennel seeds
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a jar and shake, or in a food processor and blend until combined. Store any leftover in the fridge.
To make the dukkah, place the almonds into a 160ºC oven and bake until they just start to change colour, approximately 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and roughly chop. Meanwhile, place the seeds in a dry fry pan over medium heat and shake around the pan until you begin to smell the spices, this should only take a minute or two. Remove the seeds from the pan and combine with the salt and chopped almonds. Store in an airtight jar at room temperature.
To prepare the salad, wash the courgette well and cut off the ends. Use a vegetable peeler to peel long strips, turning the courgette every so often until you have no more green left. Wash and drain the baby spinach of kale leaves and prepare the avocado by removing the stone and cutting into slices.
To assemble the salad, toss the courgette and spinach or kale leaves into a mixing bowl and combine with 1/2 cup of dressing and 3/4 cup of dukkah. Toss to combine. Place a portion into a serving bowl and top with avocado slices and another sprinkling of dukkah.
Once assembled, this courgette salad will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge in a sealed container.