Photography by Ilaria Biuso
This time of year to me means eating light and eating outdoors, with fresh ingredients bought from the market, or, luckily for some, produce picked from the garden – I have my dad Remo to thank for the inspiration for this recipe. He’s constantly pottering away in the garden and has got the greenest thumbs I’ve ever seen, though not literally, of course, haha … that could be a bit spooky. The zucchinis I’ve used here are some of his little babies. The flavour is a surprising combination – a mixture of sweet sultanas balanced perfectly with tarty lemon – a match made in zucchini heaven. Light, simple and pretty, it’s what summer’s all about!
¼ cup golden sultanas or raisins
2 Tbsp pine nuts
Flaky sea salt
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 Tbsp lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
6 small zucchini
1 clove garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
¼ cup small basil leaves
½ cup edible flowers if you have them
1 Soak sultanas or raisins in a small bowl with hot water to cover for 15 minutes. This sucks out some of the sweetness and makes them softer.
2 Heat a splash of olive oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat. Add the pine nuts and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring them with a spoon, until golden; keep a watchful eye about as these liddle bad boys burn pretty quickly! When they are sufficiently browned, tip them onto a plate lined with paper towels and sprinkle with a little sea salt.
3 Whisk extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt and a grind or two of black pepper together in a large bowl. Drain sultanas or raisins and pat dry with paper towels and if they are the big spooky type (large), then feel free to chop them before adding to the bowl.
4 Slice the zucchini thinly. I use a potato peeler to do this and shave off thin strips, but you can do it on a mandolin thingy or with a really sharp knife. Add to the bowl with the sliced garlic. I accidently crushed my garlic for the pic, not because I’m sometimes lazy (debatable), but I was just going by habit. When it’s sliced, though, the flavour is less intense. Add the basil leaves now, too. Toss gently and dish it onto four plates. Garnish with edible flowers and get it on the table quick as.