In my dreams I want to wander round an allotment and pick at will the plants that are groaning with produce at this time of year. In my sights are plump yellow courgettes, some with late flowering golden flowers wide open as a last gasp.

Salads, crisp and fresh, ruby striped radicchio and spiky rocket leaves.

I have also spotted plump ripe figs hiding on trees climbing on south-facing walls in local gardens.

Jammed in terracotta pots

at my front door I can pick

any combination of fresh herbs, a few leaves here and there add unexpected bursts of flavour.

The mixture of warm griddled courgettes and crisp salad leaves makes this salad especially delicious.

Burrata is a rich buffalo milk cheese typical in Puglia, southern Italy. It is made with a stringy cream stracciatella wrapped in the middle of a mozzarella ball and tied at the top like a soft bulging tortellini. It needs to be used very fresh so if you see it – buy it – eat it!



Honey and mustard dressing

½ red onion, finely diced

3 -4 tablespoons extra

virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar, white balsamic if possible

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons clear honey

Sea salt

4 courgettes, yellow if possible

8-10 leaves each little gem, cos, oak leaf salads

6-8 leaves radicchio…adds bitterness and colour

Handful of rocket

Leaves of fresh herbs, basil, tarragon, parsley, mint

2 ripe tomatoes, cut into eights

Handful of stoneless olives

2 burrata or mozzarella bufala

4 ripe figs, cut into quarters…or semi -dried figs

Sea salt and extra virgin olive oil for grilling


First make the dressing. Dice the red onion and soak in cold water. This acts to sweeten the onion flavour.

Add the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and use a small whisk to blend into an emulsion.

Add the drained onion and check seasoning and adjust sweet, sour salt to taste.

Pre-heat a grill pan.

Wash the courgettes. (If they are from an allotment or garden, they will need a good scrub in cold water, grit can stick to the skin.)

Pat dry and slice diagonally.

Toss in a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Lay on the heated pan and grill turning until they are scored on the surface and soft inside.

Meanwhile, wash and prepare all the salad leaves and herbs.

Spin or pat dry and lay in a large bowl and toss everything with the dressing.

Add the warm griddled courgettes.

Scatter with olives and tear the burrata or mozzarella across the salad.

Finally dress with quarters of luscious, sweet figs.