28 July 2012

When Your Neighbour Hands You Zucchini Make Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Feta and Mint

Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Feta and Mint
After 3 years of crossing my fingers and my toes I was lucky enough to receive a plot in our local community garden. As a condo dweller I longed to run my hands through the dark earth, plant seeds and watch my dreams of being a locavore grow. You can't get any more local than that! This has always been one of the most rewarding ways to spend an hour in the cool of an evening. I planted late waiting for the rye grass to decompose in my organic garden, but, for the past month now I have been reaping the rewards with the first tell tale signs of a healthy garden, hand plucking insects and tending my weeds. For the past few weeks I have been gathering my coveted zucchini flowers making lightly battered fried zucchini flowers stuffed with feta and mint, and a zucchini flower risotto (recipe to come). Seemingly overnight those flowers spurted forth and I am now over run with 6-inch zucchini. Now what's a girl to do?

I am sure that by now, if you don't have a garden of your own, your neighbours are stealing into your yard in the wee hours of the morning and leaving care packages of zucchini on your porch. August 8th is a day designated especially for this purpose being "Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbours Porch Day." Or perhaps you are covertly picking the locks of your neighbours cars and leaving them in their baby car seats. If this sounds all too true you have hit the mother load!!!People seem to have a love/hate relationship with this prolific summer squash. I am a lover of zucchini so am always looking for new ways to highlight it's delicate flavour.

This squash truly shines by mid-summer. As a home cook, I'm partial to the sweet, young version, whose delicate, creamy flesh lends itself well to both raw and cooked dishes. I avoid the large, mature zucchinis that haunt the stalls at many markets in late summer which have waterlogged, fibrous bodies and bitter seeds. 


Over the years I have been enamoured by many recipes for zucchini from chocolate zucchini cake to zucchini fritters. This by far is the most delicious salad I have tried so far with its zesty lemon flavoured zucchini ribbons, good quality olive oil, fresh mint and feta cheese. Around here it is a favorite summer salad whose flavour combination will whisk you away to the Greek isles. I tried using my mandolin for the paper thin ribbons but found it easier and more efficient to use a potato peeler. Use a firm hand to create even and uniform slices. For a more colourful salad you can use one zucchini and one yellow squash.

In our community garden there are "rules" and I was not able to plant mint but I did have a large quantity of dill which is another Greek favourite and makes this salad equally delicious. Quick and easy! Why spend time in the kitchen when the world is beckoning this summer.
  • **Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Feta and Mint**
  • based on a recipe from Vegetarian Times

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 clove garlic, minced 
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 2 medium zucchini, peeled into thin ribbons (about 4 cups)
  • 1 medium sweet onion, such as Vidalia or Walla Walla, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 spring onions, chopped (about ¼ cup)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint, or dill
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
In a large serving bowl whisk together lemon juice, lemon zest and garlic. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add zucchini ribbons and onion, and toss lightly to coat. Cover bowl and marinate your salad overnight, or for up to 2 days. Sprinkle with feta, green onions, mint (dill) and parsley just before serving.
You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips

22 comments:

  1. Refined and delicious! that salad is fabulous.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. What lovely Val:) I love zucchinis always!

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  3. I finally have some growing here:) Yellow..no greens yet,.And I love the look of ribboned zucchini..even skewered and grilled..Oh to have a veggie plot all yr long:) And herbs!

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  4. What a lovely salad Val and you sound so content :)

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  5. It never feels like summer till I start eating zucchini raw! Love the idea of using a peeler, and love the flavors in this salad. Thanks!

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  6. I have yet to have feta with mint.
    And I was just at a greek fest too! LOL

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  7. I'm trying this - lots of zucchini in my garden.... I planted mint this year - along the fence where I can mow and strim to keep it under control....

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  8. Adding feta is pretty much the only way y can get me to eat zucchini raw. Love the sound of this salad!

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  9. How lovely Val. The ribbons are so attractive. Thank you for a change of what to do with zucchini from Zucchini bread.
    Sam

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  10. YES! A new recipe for me to try with the abundance of zucchinis growing in my garden. This looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing!

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  11. you have quite the bountiful garden.

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  12. Timely, Val! I have baby zucchini in the garden now and usually grow the plants for the flowers - but, of course I use the veg!! I love it roasted in terrines, but this looks nummy! Will have to try this for supper.
    :)
    V

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  13. LOVE the sounds and look of this . . and I just happen to have all of the ingredients on hand. Hmmm - who needs another tomato stack salad for dinner tonight anyway?

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  14. If anybody wants to offload zucchini on me, they can come over in full daylight and they'll be welcome. Zucchini are so versatile - as your pretty salad clearly shows! Guess what, I am making a zucchini dish for dinner ;)

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  15. What a lovely and light salad. I've made ribbons with cucumber but not yet with zucchini, it's beautiful!

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  16. Funny that I've never had raw zucchini before, but this salad has convinced me to try it. Val when will you be in Italy and in what areas? I now may be possibly in Italy in October with my parents for two weeks if all the planets line up properly! Amalfi coast, Naples, Positano, Sorento, and Capri at the minimum to visit. I won't be in Northern Italy (sadly, since my roots are in Emiglia Romagna). Let me know if you like please. Thanks, Roz

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  17. Wouldn't it be exciting to meet up finally Roz after all test years! Lets hope the stars align.

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  18. i love your post title and i love seeing zucchini in ribbons. this is lovely!

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  19. Perfectly simple. I have all of these ingredients right now. I love when this happens!

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  20. I am definitely craving zucchini now...
    LL

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  21. New to your blog Valli...just love the recipes. Thanks so much. (especially for this zucchini salad) Have a wonderful weekend.

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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