September could be nicknamed Zucchini Abundance Month. It’s a time when colorful little blossoms transform overnight into baseball-bat sized giants. Have you noticed? they’re everywhere! Friends, distant relatives even strangers become overly generous and try to gift you with shopping bags full of this squash. Zucchini recipes pop up in print and online - who knew there could be so many variations on zucchini bread and zucchini casserole?
It’s not that we don’t like zucchini. Really. We eat it, though one of us grumbles and greets it with considerably less enthusiasm. Sometimes I grill oiled zucchini halves on the barbecue or in a grill pan. Often I slice the squash into half-inch coins, brown one side briefly in an oiled skillet, then flip them and sprinkle the tops with a bit of grated fresh Parmesan cheese. The second side browns while the cheese melts and the dish is ready to serve. But that's not what this post is about. These are everyday preparations, but nothing to get excited about.
Ahhhh, but raw zucchini ribbons are almost a different vegetable. We both enjoyed a raw zucchini salad that Slone prepared onboard last month. I found a similar recipe via epi, my latest iPhone app which links to recipes at epicurious.com. We tried it… we liked it… and we’ll now celebrate Zucchini Abundance Month with an improved attitude. Just don’t leave any of those oversized monsters on my doorstep!
|Ribbons of thinly sliced zucchini|
|Zukes, onions, Kalamata olives and a mix of herbs for flavor|
Everything gently tossed to coat each ribbon
Zucchini Ribbon Salad
Makes 6 servings
2 pounds small zucchini, ends trimmed
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons honey Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 oz. frisee, trimed and torn into small pieces (4 cups loosely packed)
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, torn in half lengthwise if large
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
12 Kalamata black olives, pitted and thinly sliced lengthwise
1 small red onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise (1/2 cup)
Cut the zucchini lengthwise into very thin (1/8-inch or less) slices using a mandoline or vegetable slicer/peeler (don’t bother with the seedy center core). Transfer to a colander set over a bowl. Sprinkle the zucchini ribbons with salt and toss to coat. Let stand 5 minutes, then rinse under cold running water. Transfer the zucchini ribbons to a clean kitchen towel, spread in a single layer, then gently roll up towel to absorb excess water and let stand 5 minutes more.
Whisk together oil, zest, juice, mustard, honey, and pepper in a large bowl until combined.
Add zucchini, frisee, herbs, olives and onion and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
adapted only slightly from Gourmet, August 2004
Available on epi, an iPhone app
- Do a Google search on "zucchini ribbon salad" and you'll be amazed at the number of hits. Everyone from FoodNetwork chefs to half of the blogging world seems to have posted a recipe. I may taste test a few more during September.
- For a peppy approach to a cool zucchini dish, check out Donna's recipe with jalapeno vinaigrette at EverydaySouthwest (link).