This needs to be dished up the moment its made, before the courgettes start ‘weeping’ and losing their freshness, so don’t let it sit around for too long. It goes well with hot food fresh from the grill or alongside a bunch of meze.
Prep 10 min
Cook 15 min
3 tbsp olive oil
10g thyme sprigs
1 lemon – peel finely shaved into 6 strips (avoid the bitter white pith), then juiced, to get 2 tbsp
1 garlic clove, smashed with the flat side of a knife
600g courgettes (a mix of green and yellow looks great, if you can find both), trimmed and shaved into long, thin ribbons with a potato peeler or mandoline
60g walnut halves, roughly chopped
Salt and black pepper
15g basil, roughly shredded
Put the oil, thyme, lemon peel and garlic in a small saucepan on a low heat and leave to infuse for eight minutes, until the oil becomes aromatic and the garlic, lemon and thyme start to colour. Take off the heat, leave to cool, then strain the oil into a large bowl. Pick the leaves off the sprigs and add to the oil; discard the sprigs, lemon and garlic.
Put the courgettes, walnuts, lemon juice, a third of a teaspoon of salt and plenty of pepper into the oil, then massage the courgettes for a minute or so – they will break up a little – then stir in the basil and serve at once.