k Raw courgetti with avocado basil pesto and Ibiza sun-kissed tomatoes k
All aboard the beautiful La Bella Verde as I set sail for Ibiza’s gorgeous little sister island Formentera…
Okay I know it’s all a bit ‘last year’ seeing raw vegetables being turned into ‘spaghetti’ – or as food fashionistas call it, courgetti. For the purpose of this recipe I was providing a lunch on a solar powered catamaran for two unbelievably gorgeous Eco pirates, Maarten…
They are both vegans, their boat had no cooking facility, they wanted something filling but healthy so I thought I would keep the boys happy by doing a organic, raw vegan picnic. All the produce comes from my favourite local organic shop, totally seasonal and all within only 1km, you cannot get more eco than that!
With the addition of a super ripe avocado it gives the dish a delicate creaminess and also helps the pesto cling gloriously to the courgetti. At first glance it’s hard to tell the difference between a bowl of pesto-clad spaghetti and surprisingly the texture and flavour is not that dissimilar either. With the growing number of gluten-free, raw and health-conscious eaters, this kind of vegetable pasta has become somewhat of a godsend. At last now we can have our pasta and eat it.
I thought I would elevate this recipe into the realms of sophistication with my very own Ibiza sun kissed tomatoes. Do you know what? I really don’t like sun-dried tomatoes…leathery, wrinkly and dry with weirdly no taste of tomato – I physically shudder when I eat one. Sun-blushed (I prefer sun-kissed) tomatoes however are a completely different kettle of fish.
Lightly dried in full glorious Ibiza sunlight (or in a very low oven) sun-kissed tomatoes are sweet, supersonic bombs of flavour which make anything you pair them with delicious, elegant and satisfying….just like the pirates on board…Lol!
Ingredients (serves 2)
1 medium courgette
½ teaspoon Himalayan/ or sea salt
60ml extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
bunch fresh basil
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons flaked almonds
½ large ripe avocado
fresh ground pepper
6 pieces of sun-kissed tomatoes (or pre bought sun blush tomatoes)
- Using a spiral slicer turn the courgette into “noodles”. If you do not have a spiral slicer, you can use a julienne slicer. If you don’t have any special slicers, you can cut the courgettes thinly lengthwise to create long, flat noodles then slice into thin strips Sprinkle with salt and mix thoroughly with your hands. Allow to sit for ½ hour and then drain off the excess liquid.
- While the courgettes are resting make the pesto. Using a pestle and mortar or a food mixer add the garlic, avocado, lemon juice, sea salt, basil, pine nuts and almonds and blend (or pound) until creamy.
- Toss the courgettes with the avocado pesto then top with the beautiful sun-kissed tomatoes, some basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.
Sun kissed tomatoes (takes approx 3 hot sunny days)
10 ripe tomatoes, cleaned, dried & cut into quarters
2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
sprigs of fresh thyme
drizzle of olive oil (if using oven method)
1.Place tomatoes, garlic and thyme in shallow wood-framed trays with nylon netting for the bottom of the trays. Cover trays with protective netting or cheesecloth. Place in direct sun, raised from the ground on blocks or anything else that allows air to circulate under the trays. Turn the tomatoes over after about 1 1/2 days, to expose the cut side to the sun.
(Or the easier Oven Method)
Alternatively (if the weather is not good or you don’t have access to the Ibiza sun!) put the tomatoes, garlic, thyme and a drizzle of olive oil onto a baking tray, sprinkle with sea salt and very slowly roast at the lowest possible setting (50oc) it will take about three – four hours. Check until you have the texture you like.