Year Round Recipes Salads and Vegetables

Courgette, olive and preserved lemon salad


Courgettes are widely used in Moroccan cookery. Authentic Moroccan preserved lemons are made with very small fruit, about the size of a lime. Only the skin is used, the lemons are cut in half and the flesh and any seeds are scooped out, so when the recipe calls for ‘finely chopped lemons’ it generally means the chopped skin, rather than the whole fruit. See Taste Notes for suppliers.

These recipes originally appeared in House & Garden magazine, photos courtesy of Oivind Haug.


  • 4 medium-large courgettes (approx. 750g)
  • 2tsp fine sea salt
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4tbsp finely chopped preserved lemon skin
  • 100g Moroccan (whole purple or black brine cured) olives, stones removed and roughly torn
  • 2tbsp chopped parsley and mint leaves
  • ½ lemon
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • Top and tail the courgettes and grate through the largest holes of your grater. Put the grated courgettes into a colander and toss well with the fine sea salt. Leave to drain for 5 minutes then squeeze well to remove any excess liquid.
  • In a large, heavy bottomed sauté pan or saucepan on a medium heat, heat the oil and cook the garlic until it just starts to colour. Add the courgettes and fry for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly so the courgettes soften without taking on any colour. Add the chopped preserved lemons and olives, stir well and cook for another minute or so.
  • Just before serving, add the herbs and season to taste with a few squeezes of lemon juice and black pepper. There will be plenty of salt from the courgettes, preserved lemons and olives. This is excellent served warm or at room temperature, either on its own with some bread; with a selection of other Moroccan vegetable dishes or as a side for the tagine or keftes.


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