250g ricotta cheese
3 unwaxed lemons
a good pinch of dried chilli flakes
1 teaspoon runny honey
60g shelled pistachios
extra virgin olive oil
a small bunch of fresh mint
a small bunch of fresh basil
4 large or 6 small courgettes
Cooking method: Boiling Roasting
Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan. Fill and boil a kettle and get all your ingredients together.
Turn the ricotta out of its packet on to a baking tray, grate over the zest of one lemon, sprinkle over a large pinch of dried chilli and drizzle over the honey. Put the ricotta into the oven to bake for 15 minutes, until caramelised on top.
Put the pistachios into the oven to toast for 3–5 minutes. Heat a frying pan on a high heat and thinly slice one of the unzested lemons, picking out and discarding any pips. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and fry the lemon slices until they are burnished and sticky.
Take the pistachios out of the oven and tumble into the bowl of your food processor and pick the mint and basil leaves in too. Add the juice of half the zested lemon and a good pinch of salt. Add 4 tablespoons of olive oil and a tablespoon of cold water, pulse until you have a textured grassy green pesto, then transfer to a bowl.
Now for the courgettes. Use a julienne peeler or a spiraliser if you have one to make courgette noodles. To do this by hand, use a speed-peeler or a mandolin to peel the courgettes into long thin strips. Carefully stack the slices on top of each other and use a knife to cut them into thin strips.
This is actually really easy and quick, so don’t be put off. Place in a heatproof mixing bowl, cover with boiling water from the kettle and leave to sit for 2–3 minutes.
Once the fried lemon slices are cool enough to handle, roughly chop them and stir them through the pesto. Remove the ricotta from the oven.
Drain the courgetti well and toss with the pesto. Crumble over the ricotta and finish with more lemon zest and a drizzle of oil, if you like.
Get your green fix with these vegetables noodles from British chef Anna Jones and her book A Modern Way to Cook. This recipe was suggested by Alice Zaslavsky on Drive’s Foodie Tuesday.
Anna says “I resisted including a recipe for these vegetable noodles, as they are on every scene-y or healthy menu and are peppered through raw and healthy cookbooks. But the fact is they are quick and simple and I love eating them. I am not going to insist that you go out and buy a spiraliser if you don’t have one; I do have one, but still often use a speed-peeler and a knife rather than getting out this gadget. A julienne peeler, which costs a couple of pounds, will do exactly the same job and take up much less cupboard space. Vegans, either leave out the ricotta or you can bake silken tofu in the same way, if you like.”
Recipes and images are from A Modern Way to Cook by Anna Jones, published by Harper Collins and available now.