ZF – Zucchini salad

Another delicious recipe from my mom, Joyce. I am not a fan of raw zucchini, but this sounds so good I’m definitely going to give it a try.

Raw zucchini salad? You are probably thinking about those oversized zucchini rounds on the grocery store salad bar. Put aside those spongy seedy discs and check this out!

The chef/instructor at a cooking class recently prepared this recipe, and we all became converts. The recipe uses a base of ingredients that I almost always have in my kitchen, and variations are listed below.

Note – This is NOT a way to utilize monster zucchini. They have thick skins, huge seedy areas and a spongy texture, unlike the smaller version.

Shaved Zucchini Salad with Almonds, Lemon and Parmesan

From Chef Paige Vandegrift

  • 2 lbs. small zucchini (preferably weighing 3-4 ounces each), washed and dried, ends trimmed away
  • 3 oz. Parmesan, shaved with a vegetable peeler (or just buy the shaved Parmesan at the store in the deli department – don’t sub with the grated variety)
  • 2 oz. (a generous ½ cup) sliced almonds, lightly toasted
  • 2-4 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2-4 T extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • ½ C (not packed) Italian Parsley, very coarsely chopped

Using a mandoline slicer (and being very very careful), slice the zucchini thinly lengthwise (less than 1/16th inch thick, if possible). Place in a large bowl with 2/3 of the shaved Parmesan, plus the almonds and the parsley. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Drizzle 2 T of lemon juice over. Toss and add more lemon and salt as necessary. Add 2 T of olive oil and toss again. Taste and correct the seasoning. The salad should be a bit on the tangy side.

Divide the salad among serving plates and drizzle each serving with a bit more olive oil. Garnish with additional parsley leaves and the reserved Parmesan.

Serves 6-8.

Greek Option – Use crumbled Feta instead of Parmesan, use walnuts instead of almonds, and use basil instead of parsley

For a saltier salad, add olives and/or capers

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