Charred zucchini with harissa yoghurt and pistachio dukkah

Raw and charred zucchini star in this textual salad.
Raw and charred zucchini star in this textual salad. Photo: Katrina Meynink
Difficulty
Easy
Dietary
Vegetarian

I love the contrast of fresh and charry caramelised zucchini in this salad, and the harissa yoghurt makes for the perfect base. The change in textures from soft and crisp zucchini to crunchy nuts and smooth yoghurt and chewy cranberries make this an interesting salad to serve alongside all manner of proteins. If you wanted to increase its heft, add some quinoa for bulk and skip the additional proteins altogether. This is very easy and should be high on your spring rotation.

Ingredients

1 cup Greek-style yoghurt

1 tbsp harissa (or to taste)

6-8 medium zucchini

juice of half a lemon

2 tbsp olive oil

¼ cup dried cranberries to scatter

a few sprigs baby watercress, torn

½ cup loosely packed flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

Dukkah

½ cup pistachio kernels

½ cup almonds

1 tbsp sesame seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and roughly crushed

1 tsp coriander seeds, toasted and roughly crushed

Method

1. For the dukkah, add the pistachios and almonds to a blender and pulse to a rough crumb – do this briefly, don't overwork the nuts or they will release their oils and turn the dukkah to a sad, non-crunchy mess.

2. Combine the pulsed nuts in a bowl with the sesame seeds, cumin and coriander seeds. Season with salt and pepper then set aside. (This makes more than you need – store leftovers in an airtight container for future use.)

3. In a small bowl, combine the yoghurt and harissa and set aside.

4. Peel 2 of the zucchinis into ribbons. Squeeze over the lemon juice.

5. Slice the remaining zucchini lengthways. The thickness doesn't matter as much as consistency – they should be relatively the same thickness to ensure even cooking.

6. Place a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and once hot, add the zucchini slices in a single layer and cook for 1-2 minutes each side or until nicely caramelised – you want them to retain some bite rather than cook all the way through.

7. While the zucchini were cooking, dollop the harissa yoghurt over the base of a large serving tray or platter. Add the fresh zucchini ribbons and spoonfuls of dukkah. Layer over the charred zucchini and scatter with cranberries, watercress and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and serve.