We ate this salad in a small café in the campo (countryside) near Vejer de la Frontera on the west coast of Andalucia. Courgettes fresh from the huerto (garden) were sliced super thin, salted and left to soften. Then they were dressed with lemon, olive oil, basil and shavings of Manchego. It was a revelation! We often make this in the summer at Moro.
500g small to medium courgettes, pale/thin-skinned if possible
1 heaped teaspoon fine sea salt
1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 heaped tablespoons mint, chopped
3 heaped tablespoons basil, roughly torn
50g Manchego cheese or other hard sheep’s cheese, such as Pecorino, shaved with a peeler
4 tablespoons roughly chopped roasted, salted almonds
Top and tail the courgettes and slice them very thinly (1–2mm) with a sharp knife or mandolin. Place in a colander and toss well with the sea salt (massage so the salt has a chance to ‘cook’ each slice). Leave for 20 minutes over a bowl or sink.
Squeeze the courgettes gently to get rid of excess water, then place in a bowl. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, half the mint and basil, and toss well. Arrange on a plate. Scatter over the cheese, almonds and the rest of the herbs.
Without the cheese, this salad is also delicious as a side to cooked fish or ceviche (page 170 of Moro Easy).