As you probably already know, in my perfect world I would have one (or maybe two) perfect recipe for each vegetable I grow in my garden. One recipe that highlights each vegetable in all it’s glory, that all of my family members enjoy eating, and that I can bring out each year as the growing season progresses from vegetable to vegetable without having to spend precious time searching for ways to use the piles of sugar snap peas, swiss chard, arugula, broccoli, green beans, tomatoes, zucchini and countless other vegetables that grace my kitchen counter throughout the summer.
There’s a joke in Michigan (at least in my circles) that you should never leave your car unlocked in the summer… not because someone will steal something out of it, rather because someone will put a pile of zucchini INTO your car and then you’ll be stuck with them! I’ve FINALLY found my zucchini recipe, so go right ahead and drop your extras on my front porch! Just the little one’s please… you can keep your “war clubs” for zucchini bread!
Given that I generally try to avoid both carbohydrates and sugar, I’m not a huge fan of zucchini bread and have been looking for a more healthy way to eat the abundance of zucchini that comes from my backyard vegetable garden each year. This zucchini carpaccio salad from Smitten Kitchen is just the ticket! Tho original recipe includes a bed of arugula, under the zucchini, which I bet would be delicious, but my arugula bolted months ago, so I’ve been making this salad with just zucchini and it’s still delish!
(makes lunch/dinner salads for two or three people, more if you’re serving it as a side)
- 1 1/2 pound zucchini (about 3 small/medium)
- 1 ounce parmesan, coarsely grated or shaved with a vegetable peeler (about 1/2 cup)
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- Juice of one lemon
- freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste
- Use a vegetable peeler to create zucchini ribbons*
- Put zucchini in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Mix to combine (I usually do this with my hands to keep the zucchini ribbons from breaking).
- Sprinkle with parmesan and black pepper.
A couple of notes that you might find helpful….
*The original recipe tells you to toss zucchini ribbons with 1 teaspoon salt in a large colander set over a bowl and let drain 20 minutes. Rinse zucchini slices well, then drain, pressing gently on slices to extract any excess liquid. Pat zucchini slices dry with a kitchen towel. I regularly skip this step. Sometimes the salad is a little more liquid-y (technical term, I know) than others, so if you’re creating this dish for an occasion and want to make sure it’s not watery, this step might be useful to you.
*Also, Deb says that she often prepares the zucchini up to this point ahead of time. She says that once drained well, they keep in the fridge for a few days in a container so you can use them here or elsewhere. I haven’t tried this yet, but I have noticed that when I make my salad ahead of time it is more watery (see above), so I bet these steps in combination will solve for that.
Please tell me your favorite zucchini jokes, stories, and recipes! Are you on “team zucchini bread” or do you have another favorite recipe that I should try??