Move over, kale. Courgette is here, with its own range of kitchen appliances. That's right. Sales of spiralisers in Dublin are topping sales of teapots. To the tea drinkers of Ireland, this might constitute a national threat.
Spiralisers are those dinky kitchen gadgets that can twist and turn the courgette into glorious ribbons of vegetable spaghetti. Courgetti, to be precise. Carrots work beautifully too. Tumble in some spicy olive oil to your spiralised carrot, add some fresh parsley and lemon, and you have yourself a carrot noodle dish in less than 60 seconds. Italians in LA came up with the ingenious concept of spiralisers. (Of course they did).
Courgettes are not a sexy veg. This is why they're called zucchinis in America. These svelte green veggies are a type of summer squash. We're probably more familiar with the sweeter, carbalicious winter squash, such as butternut. The zucchini is lighter and less fibrous than its wintry cousins (maybe that's why it rhymes with bikini). But both varieties are rich in vitamin C. Our bodies need vitamin C for luminous skin. No wonder the Hemsley sisters are horsing into courgetti every day. They've even started manufacturing their own line of spiralisers. Smart girls.
As my neighbour gifted me this raw courgette puree, I laughed my optimistic arse off. Not only would my children reject it faster than fetid cat litter, I was in no mood to sacrifice my own taste buds, thanks. Getting kids to eat healthy food is sometimes like wrestling toothpaste back into the tube. Don't get me wrong - I love my greens. More than Popeye. Just not uncooked, woolly courgettes. (Well, unless they are spiralised and drenched in lip-smacking umami and served on Michael Fassbender's abs. You know? Oh, never mind).
There are few things in life I love more than having my prejudices dispelled, and being proved wrong. This was one such occasion. We hope this vegetable dip rocks your world as much it does ours. The little ones necked it, and then policed the empty bowl for straggly bits.
You will need:
2 courgettes, chopped
185ml (6fl oz) tahini sesame paste
80ml (2¾fl oz) fresh lemon juice
60ml (2fl oz) extra-virgin olive oil
2 fat garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Whizz the chopped courgettes, the tahini sesame paste, the fresh lemon juice, the extra-virgin olive oil, the crushed garlic, the ground cumin, and the nutritional yeast flakes together in a blender until smooth. Forty seconds should do the trick. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Taste. Add a bit more lemon or more salt and freshly ground black pepper if you fancy, but not if the dip is for your nippers. You can change it up by using different herbs for different flavours every week.
Serve alongside dippers like pepper sticks, pitta or crackers. This dip will keep in the fridge for up to four days and makes a dastardly good sauce over courgetti. I pack it into lunch boxes with ninja swords (asparagus and cucumber). It still amazes me that they lick the box clean.
Sunday Indo Life Magazine