Courgette Salad with Lemon & Almonds
Twice named the nation’s ‘Best Food Retailer’ at the BBC Food & Farming Awards, Unicorn Grocery offers our Manchester customer base an unbeatable range of affordable, fresh and wholesome food with an emphasis on organic, fair-trade and local produce. We’re the size of a supermarket but (like Essential) we're run as a workers’ co-operative, owned and democratically controlled by staff.
Unicorn was established in 1996 by a small group of people committed to social change, who had a vision for the kind of place they wanted to shop in themselves. A place where a really wide range of wholesome, tasty food, sourced with care, would be sold at affordable prices. A shop owned and run by motivated worker-owners following a shared social and environmental agenda. A friendly, diverse and welcoming space that would act as a hub in the community.
Although we’ve grown a lot since then, those things remain true today. Co-op members still aim to run the kind of shop they love shopping in, and we’re proud to demonstrate what a worker-owned business with values can achieve….and not despite those factors, but because of them.
This is a lovely zingy salad. Perfect for a hot day and a great way of using up the endless supply of courgettes that the summer brings! Ours come from Glebelands City Growers just down the road in Sale and we have this dish on our deli counter most days through peak courgette season. It’s still lovely without the preserved lemon, and if you don’t have coriander you can substitute it with basil or just use mint: feel free to play around with combinations and enjoy being creative.
Heat a frying pan and toast the almonds for a couple of minutes, stirring often. Keep a close eye on them as they burn easily. When they are starting to colour and smell delicious tip onto a plate and leave to cool. Pick through the herbs and remove any woody stems. Set aside some for garnish. Grate the zest of the lemon and set aside, then squeeze the juice out. With a stick blender, combine the herbs, oil and lemon juice. If you don’t have a blender just chop everything up finely and mix it with a fork. Slice the chilli finely and add this or the flakes to the dressing. Chop the preserved lemon into small pieces, not forgetting to remove any pips. Slice the courgettes finely using a food processor if you have one, or a spiralizer. You could use a peeler to slice ribbons lengthways, or just slice with a sharp knife, as thinly as possible.
To assemble the salad, mix the dressing and preserved lemon through the courgettes, divide onto plates and scatter the toasted almonds over the top. Sprinkle with sumac and garnish with fresh herbs. If you are not using preserved lemon you may want to add a small pinch of salt.