Monday, September 13, 2010

The Farmer's Market God smiled on Zucchini

Zucchini, for me, is the epitome of summer. I have so many different recipes for this lovely vegetable-steamed, sauteed, stuffed, casserole, etc. But even my enthusiam can wane under the absolute glut of zucchini. The farmer's market god did indeed smile on zucchini-mayhap even gave it a kiss as I don't think I have ever seen so much zucchini! Somehow, though, there is always another recipe to renew my joy in this lovely summer veggie. My new favorite is Michael Symon's-a raw zucchini salad! I served it with my braised short ribs and polenta. Now I didn't post a polenta recipe-like rice, polenta is 1 part polenta to 2 parts liquid. There are other fancier ways to do it, but most of them use dairy which many, including Leslie can't have. I will however post the zucchini salad recipe, because it is divine and perfect as is. Plus, you thinly slice the zucchini-I am always excited at any chance to use my mandoline! I love all sorts of kitchen tools- and this one gives me perfect, thin, even slices faster than I ever imagined possible. Although, I have done it with a knife, and it has come out perfectly too.

I have submitted this to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.

Zucchini Salad

2 zucchini (about 3/4 pound, thinly sliced)
2 yellow summer squash (about 1 pound, thinly sliced)
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon salt (Michael used kosher, I used sea)
1 teaspoon minced garlic (1 small clove)
1 shallot, finely sliced
Grated zest and juice of 3 lemons, or to taste
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/3 cup fresh dill

Combine the zucchini and squash in a colander in the sink and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of salt over it. Toss to coat, and set aside for 10 to 15 minutes- no longer ! Otherwise, the texture will be mush-you'll lose the crunch as the salt will have removed too much of the water. In a large bowl, combine the garlic and shallot, sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and whisk in lemon zest and juice. Whisk in the olive oil in a steady stream, and then the almonds and dill. Taste for seasoning and acidity(it should be nicely acidic).
Add zucchini to dressing, toss, and serve immediately. Serves 4-6.

If you need to make ahead, slice zucchini and squash up to an hour before salting; cover with damp towel and leave at room temperature. Make up the vinaigrette up to 3 hours in advance.

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