I admit it: I don’t like zucchini. 3 years ago I promised myself I would quit planting it because everytime I harvested it and cooked I had to force myself to eat. I had a change of heart this year. My husband really likes zucchini and summer squash so I planted 2 seeds. No joke just 2 seeds. Guess how many plants grew? Yes 2 so now I have zucchini and I must use it. Fortunately, I have found a few recipes that make the vegetable tolerable, likeable even. This week I will be posting my zucchini recipes. The first one comes from Cleveland celebrity chef Michael Symon. This is the recipe that will make me plant more zucchini next year because it is just that good.
It’s important to salt the zucchini 10 to 15 minutes before serving it; that will help extract moisture yet leave some crunch. Salt the zucchini too early and that crunchy texture will be lost.
MAKE AHEAD: The vinaigrette can be made up to a few hours in advance. The zucchini and yellow squash can be cut into thin slices up to 1 hour before you salt them; cover with a damp paper towel and let them sit at room temperature.
Makes: about 7 ½ cups (4 to 6 servings)
2 medium zucchini (about 12 ounces total), trimmed, then cut crosswise into very thin slices (preferably using a mandolin)
3 medium yellow summer squash (about 1 ½ pounds), trimmed, then cut crosswise into very thin slices
1 tablespoon plus ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 small shallot, cut crosswise into very thin slices
Finely grated zest and freshly squeezed juice of 3 lemons (2 tablespoons zest, ¾ cup juice)
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
⅓ cup slivered or sliced almonds, toasted and cooled
⅓ cup chopped fresh dill (a scant 1 ounce)
1. Combine the zucchini and yellow squash in a colander in the sink. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the salt over the mixture. Toss to coat; let the mixture sit for no more than 15 minutes. Rinse lightly and drain.
2. Combine the garlic and shallot in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, and whisk in the lemon zest and juice. Whisk in the oil in a steady stream, then the almonds and dill. Taste for seasoning and acidity (it should be nicely acidic).
3. Add the zucchini and squash to the dressing, and toss to coat evenly. Serve immediately.
Recipe Source: Adapted from “Michael Symon’s Live to Cook,” by Michael Symon with Michael Ruhlman (Clarkson Potter, 2009).