baby zucchini salad
We'd been occasionally grabbing these baby zucchini that began showing up in
the local farmer's market, the next step nature takes after producing
those prized fiori di zucca (zucchini flowers) that
we value so much, but we didn't have any special recipe to use them in. Until
discovering Marcella's baby zucchini salad when we needed multiple vegetarian
side dishes for a dinner with friends, which immediately got our attention since
we love fresh mint.. She suggests using "young, small but not miniature zucchini
with tiny seeds" but this prohibition is a bit ambiguous: what are miniature
zucchini anyway, while young and small implies baby, no?
The result turned out to be delightful and we have made it several times
- 1/2 lb small, very fresh zucchini: a standard package of about 6 baby zucchinis are just right
- 1 celery stalk
- 1/2 c ripe, fresh tomatoes, seeds scooped out, cut into small dice (halved
grape tomatoes also work here)
- 1 T chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1 garlic clove, pressed
- 1/2 lemon, freshly squeezed juice of
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- freshly ground black pepper
- Clean and cut the baby zucchinis to half their length and then slice
thinly. Marcella suggests using a vegetable peeler to get really thin julienne
style strips, but we went with simple thicker knife slices.
- Wash the celery stalk and slice cross-wise into 1/81/4 in slices (we
like thinner, she likes thicker).
- Clean and dice the tomato (halve the grape tomatoes, third some big ones),
wash and chop the mint and toss everything into the salad bowl.
- Add the salt and pepper, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and toss
thoroughly, then cover and refrigerate an hour before serving.
- If you like, garnish the bowl with a sprig of mint leaves when served.
- Marcella Hazan, Marcella Cucina, Raw
Zucchini Salad with Mint and Tomato Dice, p.190 (listed in the index under
"salads," but not under "zucchini"). She suggests 2
smashed garlic cloves in cheesecloth that are removed before serving. We like
garlic so no need to hassle with cheesecloth, which we don't have anyway. The
first time we made this we had to omit the garlic for one of our guests who
practices active garlic avoidance.
- Illustrations available.