Saturday, March 15, 2008

CSA week 15 - marinated zucchini salad

I was off to a potluck barbecue today so a salad was in order--nothing too fancy or weird for a change. I wanted to use the zucchini and looking around I found a nice simple recipe: slice the zucchini thin; marinate in lemon juice and olive oil with garlic, salt and pepper; finish with fresh herbs. I decided to unsimplify it.

1 lb zucchini, sliced paper thin
1/4 medium onion, sliced paper thin
1 large or two small lemons, juiced. I tried meyer lemons but I think that was a mistake.
2 garlic cloves, crushed and cut in half
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt, plenty. (The one thing you can always say about zucchini is that it could use more salt)
fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped (basil would have been my first choice of herb, but I don't think it worked with the meyer lemon)
1 tablespoon fresh scallion, chopped
1/2 tablespoon salt-packed capers, rinsed

As in the original recipe, I tossed everything together and let sit for the salt and citric acid to work on the zucchini's texture. That recipe called for 4 -8 hours, but I found the zucchini getting limp and the marinade getting diluted by the released water within a couple hours. First I added the onion for a bit of crunch, but that went limp fast too. As a second attempt (and in response to learning that a bunch of extra people were coming to the barbecue) I sliced up and added the summer squash and some more onion which helped quite a bit.

It turned out fairly well. The zucchini and onion retain the individual flavors and there are hints of citrus and herbs. The garlic, unfortunately, is too forward. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I should have used less garlic. Still and all, a fine accompaniment for grilled meats. In fact, putting it right on top of the meat in the hamburger bun along with a slice of tomato was a very nice way to go.

1/2 lb summer squash, sliced paper thin
1/4 medium onion, sliced paper thin

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