Every summer I have a favorite new vegetable or preparation. One year it was shishito peppers. another year it was grilling fava beans .
This year my favorite thing I am eating again and again is shaved zucchini salads. I have made this 3 times in the last 10 days. Last night we had a gathering of about 12 people and everyone commented on how good it was, ‘you really upped your game’ was said about this salad by two different guests!
High accolades for something so basic and easy to put together. It’s utterly summery deliciousness.
You really don’t even need to measure anything. I am writing down roughly the amounts I used. Use what you like and what you have on hand.
1 ¼ pounds zucchini
1/2 cup torn soft herbs like mint leaves, basil, dill, fennel fronds or cilantro
1/2 to 1 cup hard cheese like Parmesan or Romano or feta
Fennel, as much or as little as you like, cored and thinly shaved-optional but delicious
Juice of 1 lemon or lime, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
Salt and pepper,
I added a handful of sliced almonds this time, any nut will do. I highly recommend you do too. The added texture with the crunch of the fennel and the firm raw texture of the zucchini and the nuts and hard cheese are magic. Use what you have but don’t leave any of the main elements out.
Use a vegetable peeler or mandolin ( I used a vegetable peeler like this ) to thinly shave the zucchini lengthwise. In a large mixing bowl, toss together the zucchini, herb, hard cheese, fennel (if using), lemon juice and olive oil and nuts. Season with salt and pepper. Add more lemon juice or olive oil to taste.
You’ll have the core leftover after shaving the zucchini. It’s mostly water and seeds, don’t use the core, just give that to the chickens :-)
Now dump the well mixed and seasoned ingredients in the mixing bowl into your serving bowl, pile it high in a serving bowl.
All the good stuff falls to the bottom while you are mixing so inverting it from one vesicle to another is imperative with salads IMO. Get all the good stuff back to the top and enjoy.
I’m making this again tonight I think.
I hope you try this. Have a great week, see you at pickup.