Fennel and Leeks

Fennel and Leeks

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Zucchini and Hazelnut Salad

To say I am behind in posting recipes is the understatement of the century. I must be backlogged by at least seven or eight recipes by now! I am dedicated to getting caught up over the next few weeks so be on the lookout for several recipes coming your way.

I prepared this particular dish for an event that I attend every June and wow, it is a good one! This recipe is one of the tastiest that I have prepared in quite a while. In posts from year's past, I have written about the Emerald Water Anglers cooking competition that I judge every June (click on this link for details about the competition and this link for info about Emerald Water Anglers). I always prepare a few dishes to share with attendees and this was the favorite dish that I prepared for the 2016 event. As my best friend Natalie said after she took her first bite, "Feel free to make this for me anytime!" I have since made it twice for different events and it has gone over like gangbusters both times.

1/3 cup shelled hazelnuts
7 small zucchini (1 3/4 lbs in total)
4 Tbsp olive oil
salt and black pepper
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 1/4 cups mixed green and purple basil leaves
3 oz high quality Parmesan, broken up or very thinly sliced
2 tsp hazelnut oil

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Scatter hazelnuts over baking sheet and roast for 12 to 15 minutes, or until nicely browned. Allow them to cool before chopping roughly or just crushing lightly with the side of a large knife. Place a griddle pan on high heat and leave it there until it is almost red hot; at least 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, trim ends of zucchini and cut on an angle into 3/8-inch-thick slices. Place them in a bowl and toss with half the olive oil and some salt and pepper. Place slices in the hot grill pan and char-grill for about 2 minutes on each side.

Turn them over using tongs. Make sure to get distinct char marks without cooking the zucchini through.

Transfer to mixing bowl, pour balsamic vinegar over top, toss together and set aside.

Once the zucchini have cooled down, add remaining olive oil, basil, and hazelnuts. Mix lightly, then taste and adjust seasoning accordingly. Transfer to a flat plate, incorporating the Parmesan, and drizzle with hazelnut oil. Enjoy!

Recipe Source:
"Plenty; Vibrant Vegetable Recipes" by Yotam Ottolenghi, Page 70-71

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