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A G.O.A.T salad

In doing this newsletter I’ve learned that you can lead a horse to water but then what? You quickly find you need a real hobby.

And so it is whenever EMW does salads… They never get the glorious attention that has seen the likes of my Biscoff panna cotta or summer gnocchi trend on Twitter within a 10 metre radius of Mum’s house.

All of which leads us to this week’s recipe for marinated courgettes and goat’s cheese salad with oregano, chilli, and almond. Super fresh, delicious, and versatile.

This week’s album


This is the debut, and self-titled, album from the English musician/producer SBTRKT (pronounced ‘subtract’). Aaron Jerome is the man behind the mask, stating he’d “rather not talk about myself as a person, and let the music speak for itself.” Sampha, who he works with regularly and I’m a big fan of, features heavily which is a bonus.

A jack-of-all-trades salad

This salad is a great one to add to your repertoire as you can use it for so many occasions: BBQ side dish, dinner party starter, or midweek supper with some salad leaves (watercress or rocket work well) and radishes.

Courgette and goat’s cheese is a great combo which we’re going to give centre-stage to this week. All we’ll add are some herbs, citrus, and chilli to lift the whole dish. And some toasted almonds to provide a nutty note and some crunch.

For this dish I prefer to use a soft, fresh goat’s cheese but anything works so go with your favourite. Not a fan? The ever reliable ricotta is a perfect substitute.

The cooking of the courgettes takes no time at all and, other than that, the whole dish requires very little effort to make (in part thanks to the dried herbs and spices).

On that note, I’m a big fan of the flavour of dried oregano. So much so that I use it over fresh oregano which is so often slightly furry and grey when bought in the UK, compared to the super vibrant green it can be at its best. 

We’ll also use:

1. Marjoram (a sub-species of oregano) which I love but feel is very underused. It’s similar in flavour to oregano but has a nice sweet and citrus-y note to it.

2. Dried chillies. These are so handy to have around as they save the faff involved with fresh chillies, and the waste involved when you only need half of one and leave the unused part in your fridge for weeks.

What you need

The below serves 4. It takes 20 mins to prep, then 10 mins to cook.



5-6 small/medium courgettes (or 3 large)

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)

1 garlic clove (finely chopped/grated)

1 tsp dried chilli

½ tbsp dried oregano

½ tbsp dried marjoram

1 lemon (juice & zest)

50g roasted almonds

125g soft goat's cheese

Handful salad leaves/radishes (optional)

Sea salt & black pepper

Ready, steady, cook

1. If roasting the almonds yourself, preheat your oven to 190°c/170°c fan. When hot, add the almonds to a small tray and roast for 6-8 mins (or until golden and toasted). Leave them to cool, then roughly chop and set aside for later.

2. Add the olive oil and finely chopped garlic to a small pan and place on a medium heat. Heat until the garlic starts to very gently fry, then immediately remove from the heat. Allow to cool slightly, and add the dried herbs, dried chilli, lemon zest, lemon juice, and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside for now. This is your marinade.

3. Heat a griddle or BBQ until very hot (if you’re not using a BBQ, or don’t have a griddle, just use a heavy-bottomed frying pan).

4. Slice the courgettes lengthwise into strips about 1.5cm thick. Drizzle with a tbsp of olive oil and season well with sea salt.

5. Carefully place the courgettes onto the hot griddle and use tongs to gently press the courgettes down so that they make good contact with the pan. Leave to cook for approx. 3 mins before turning over and cooking on the other side for another 3 mins. When cooked, transfer to a tray, pour over the marinade and mix well. Allow the marinade to steep for at least 5 mins.

NOTE: depending on the size of your BBQ or griddle pan you might need to cook your courgettes in batches. If this is the case, season each batch with the marinade as you go. This is important as the courgettes will take on more flavour if the marinade is added when they’re hot.

6. Arrange your courgettes on a large serving dish or individual plates. Use a spoon to dot over little chunks of the goat's cheese. Sprinkle over the chopped almonds and, if using, add any salad leaves. Finally, spoon over any leftover marinade.

Final thought

I’m a big fan of chilli but, if it’s not for you, you can reduce the amount used or remove it completely.

Enjoy your time in the kitchen. Same time next week,


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Eat My Words · Kew Gardens · Kew, TW9 · United Kingdom

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