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Courgette Ribbons with Almond Pesto

Courgette Ribbons with Almond Pesto from Deb Perelman's Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. This quick and simple salad is a perfect way to use up a glut of summer courgettes.

From the book


This fabulously light dish is coated with a pesto of almonds, Parmesan, garlic and red pepper flakes.

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140g almonds, toasted and cooled
20g grated Parmesan cheese
1 small garlic clove, peeled and crushed
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp table salt
80ml olive oil
About 900g medium courgettes, trimmed (about 4 medium thin, and longer if you can find them)

Essential kit

You will need a food processor.


Prepare the Pesto

Grind the almonds, Parmesan, garlic and red peper flakes in a food processor until they are finely chopped. Add the lemon juice, salt and olive oil and pulse the machine a few times, until combined. Pour the dressing in the bottom of a large salad bowl, and let it roll up and around the sides.

Prepare the Courgettes

Using a vegetable peeler (a Y-peeler or mandoline works great if you have one here, but any old peeler will do) and working from the top to bottom of each courgette, slice the courgettes into ribbons (about 1mm thick). Place the ribbons in dressing-coated bowl.

Assemble the Salad

Toss the ribbons gently – frankly, your hands are best for this as they won’t break up the ribbons while tossing them – attempting to coat the ribbons as evenly as possible with the dressing. Serve at room temperature. This can sit out for a while (the longer it does, the more relaxed the ribbons will be) but I like to eat it right away, when the ribbons still make tall loops and twists in the bowl.

Cooking Notes

If you can find thinner, longer  courgettes, all the better. I’ve found that the prettiest ribbons happen when the length of your peeler blade exceeds the width of your courgette, because it keeps the green-skinned edges intact. Of course, nature doesn’t always adjust itself to your food-styling needs. If you can only find short and squat courgettes, fear not; the salad will be just as delicious.


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From the book: The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

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