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Raw courgette & fennel salad with lemon parsley dressing

Raw courgette & fennel salad with lemon parsley dressing

As every kitchen gardener and allotment-holder knows, summer is the season of the courgette. In fact, by July and August, this crop is positively rampant in the garden, and the need to harvest the fruit while it’s still young and small before it grows into fat, unpalatable marrow means it’s easy to end up with a glut. And even if you don’t have a grow you own plot, now’s still the time to celebrate this summer squash, as all manner of varieties fill the shelves at greengrocers and farmers’ markets. Here, the chefs at our café, The Provenist, have teamed their courgette glut with crisp Florence fennel bulbs (another June–September favourite) and colourful radishes in a fresh, raw salad that’s perfectly in tune with high summer’s mood. Makes enough for four–six.

What you’ll need

  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • 2 courgettes
  • 1 large unwaxed lemon
  • A handful of radishes
  • A handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • Good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

What to do

  1. Start by preparing the fennel. Cut each bulb in half (you can keep the stalks and any feathery bits on or slice these separately – either way, don’t throw them away as there’s lots of flavour here too) then cut out the woody cores from each half and throw these away. Take the halves of the bulbs as well as any stalks and leaves and, using a sharp knife, a mandolin or a food processor with a blade attachment, finely shave the fennel. Place into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Now for the courgettes. Using a vegetable peeler, peel long ribbons of the courgette – keeping the skin on – and add to the bowl with the fennel.
  3. Top and tail the radishes, cut in half and slice as finely as possible into half-moons (which, again, you can do with your knife, mandolin or food processor) and add to the bowl.
  4. Zest the lemon over the vegetables.
  5. In another small bowl, mix the juice of the lemon with two tablespoons of oil, a pinch of salt and pepper and the roughly chopped parsley.
  6. Pour the dressing over the vegetables, give everything a good toss and pile onto a serving platter.

We’d love to see you at The Provenist if you’re ever in Bath. You’ll find the café just next door to Neptune Bath off Walcot Street in the city centre.