This recipe stems from one of those evenings when I was faced with a lean pantry and a fussy appetite, but now I go back to it regularly as it’s very simple and quick, but yields impressive and colorful results. I realize there’s a couple of ingredients included that might not be sitting in everyone’s pantry – but don’t worry.
1. If you don’t have/can’t find sweet soy sauce at your local supermarket, then try mixing in a spoonful of honey with some normal soy sauce instead for the same flavor profile.
2. I am a big fan of infused olive oils when done well, but fear not – a good quality olive oil will work just as well here, it just wont be quite as lemony, which might even be a preference for some. —Natasha Crowe
4 as an appetizer/ 2 as a main
Olive oil for frying
clove of garlic (crushed)
Ketjap Manis (Sweet soy sauce)
(1 can) Chick Peas, drained and rinsed thoroughly
plum tomatoes or one large ripe heirloom tomato (depending on the season)
Wash the zucchini thoroughly so the skin is shiny and clean and then chop into slices the thickness of a dollar.
Now gently heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Test if it’s ready for frying by adding one slice of the zucchini to the pan – it should start to sizzle nicely.
Now add all the zucchini to the pan and coat evenly with the heated oil. Allow the slices to fry on one side for at least a couple of minutes before flipping to check that they are starting to brown.
The zucchini should take about 7 – 10 minutes total to pan fry. When they are halfway done, you can add the chopped garlic – I don’t like adding too early as it tends to burn and burnt garlic is not a good addition to any salad, trust me!
A minute before removing completely from the heat, add the Ketjap Manis to the pan. TIP!! Be sure to have your extractor/fan going as the pan is going to be hot and any soy sauce tends to smoke when heated like this. Adding the soy sauce and allowing the zucchini to fry in this sweet, bubbling mixture for a minute adds a a nice sticky char to the veggies, just watch them and don’t let them burn.
Remove the zucchini from the heat and keep the pan covered while you assemble the rest of the salad.
Toss the chickpeas into a large serving bowl.
Chop the tomatoes into eighths or if you’re using one of those mammoth heirlooms probably much smaller pieces. There’s no hard and fast rule here – however you like to eat your tomatoes in a salad is fine, but ideally they’d be similar size chunks to your zucchini.
Add the tomato to the chickpeas and now tip in the warm zucchini. Add the lemon olive oil, lemon juice, sesame seeds and season well. Combine thoroughly to ensure all the lemon and oils become infused into the warm veggies. Serve with hot crusty bread, plank salmon, seared halloumi cheese or even simple grilled chicken. Enjoy!