Zucchini is such a wonderful vegetable. It’s subtle flavour makes it incredibly versatile – you can do just about anything with it – add it to pasta sauce, curries, stir fries, lasagne, pasta bakes, risotto, soup, fritters, patties, slices, savoury baked things and sweet baked things – cakes, muffins.. even pancakes. You can slice, grate, and stuff zucchinis, make zoodles or thicker style zucchini noodles slithers using a vegetable peeler. Zucchini is nice served with so many things – red meat, poultry, fish, seafood, tofu and pretty much any cheese and any vegetable. Plus, you can eat it raw or cooked.
Some find the flavour of zucchini a little bland.. however when cooked in certain ways or combined with certain foods, herbs or spices they are (I find) delicious.
Sautéing (or grilling or bbq-ing) sliced zucchini is one easy way to make them taste especially nice as it brings out a beautiful subtle caramel flavour. This recipe is simple and easy, fresh, light, yummy and nutritious. It’s adapted from a recipe I obtained from the incredibly experienced seasonal food Chef and cook who looks after the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden at Collingwood College here in Melbourne. It’s a nice salad to serve with just about anything. And, zucchini is now in season so it’s the best time to enjoy it.
This makes a nice plate full (to share between 2-4 people)
4 medium zucchinis (green and/or yellow), washed and sliced into ~ 0.5cm slices
~ 1/2 a bunch of parsley, leaves removed and roughly chopped
2 handfuls of rocket
A good handful of Pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
The juice of 1 lemon
~ 1.5 Tbsp. olive oil
A little honey or maple syrup (~ 1/2 tsp)
Salt and pepper
1. In a non stick pan, add pumpkin seeds and toast on medium heat, mixing seeds around to ensure even toasting, until seeds turn slightly golden brown. Then remove from heat.
2. Using a small oil brush, quickly brush each slice of zucchini (both sides) and set all ‘oiled’ sliced aside on a plate. If you don’t have a brush just drizzle oil on a plate and lightly coat zucchini in oil. Then heat a non stick pan or a grill pan to medium heat, and add zucchini slices until the plate is full. Using a wooden spoon make sure slices don’t stick and allow them to sauté until a little browned, before flipping over. Sauté slices in batches, on both slides, and once a batch is done add and set aside on a clean plate.
3. In a small bowl mix together the lemon juice, olive oil, honey or maple syrup, salt and pepper.
4. On a salad platter or plate spread a handful of rocket, then add most zucchini slices, some seeds, parsley, then a little more rocket, zucchini and seeds. Drizzle with dressing and toss lightly. Serve as a side, or with other salads, just with bread and cheese (yum), or whatever you like.
Other nice additions include:
- Feta – it’s beautiful added to this salad! (note: if you’re pregnant it’s safest to avoid feta unless cooked and hot)
- Mint is also really nice. Add a few ripped leaves for a fresher flavour.
- Balsamic vinegar and olive oil as an easy and yummy dressing alternative, or sticky balsamic