This little bit of sunshine and the beginnings of spring have us thinking about summer evenings and alfresco dining.
Kevin Dundon shares this lovely and light salad from his Back to Basics cookbook, perfect for lunch or a side for a barbecue. If making it for vegetarians, you can use vegetarian feta, which is guaranteed to contain no rennet.
Here, Kevin pairs it with a light vinaigrette that can be used in lots of different dishes. A successful vinaigrette depends on getting the right proportions of oil, vinegar and mustard to make a smooth emulsion.
Courgette and Feta Pasta Salad
For the salad
- 450g (1lb) farfalle pasta or similar
- Salt and black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 courgettes, peeled into ribbons
- 400g (2 2/3 cups) feta cheese, crumbled 1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tbsp snipped chives
- 1 tbsp chopped mint
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2/3 tbsp vinaigrette
For the vinaigrette
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- pinch of caster sugar (optional)
- salt and black pepper
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 6 tbsp sunflower oil
1 Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, and cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold running water, then set aside.
2 Place a griddle (ridged grill) pan over a high heat and drizzle in the oil. When hot, add the strips of courgette a few at a time, season with salt and pepper and cook on each side for 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl as they are cooked.
3 Place the mustard and sugar (if using) in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Continue whisking while adding the vinegar and then the oil. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Store in a Kilner or screwtop jar and shake well before using.
4 Add the pasta, feta, herbs and lemon zest, drizzle with the lemon juice and vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.