KITCHEN GARDEN : ZUCCHINI CAPRESE SALAD

We all know in the height of summer, the zucchinis and tomatoes have started pouring in and sooner than our winter selves could ever have imagined, we are trolling the internet for every conceivable way to make these things taste different! So here’s a role reversal and a secret sauce to revive summer squash. I got the idea for this recipe from home replicating the Chicken Bryan at Carrabbas. It is an amazing dish, do try it (no this is not a plug for Carrabbas, nor do I get paid by them, haha).

ZUCCHINI CAPRESE SALAD serves 4 (as a light main dish)

You can prepare all the ingredients beforehand, everything keeps nicely. Just remember to take out the lemon dressing 15-20minutes before you want to serve the salad, as the olive oil may have solidified. 

For the salad

 

ZUCCHINI CAPRESE SALAD serves 4 (as a light main dish)

You can prepare all the ingredients beforehand, everything keeps nicely. Just remember to take out the lemon dressing 15-20minutes before you want to serve the salad, as the olive oil may have solidified.

For the salad

1 lb zucchini
1 lb fresh mozzarella
1 bunch of basil : 1.5 – 2 c loosely packed
1 tube of Amore sundried tomato paste
zest from one lemon (set aside 1/2 tsp for the dressing in a small bowl)
For the dressings

1/2 tsp reserved lemon zest
2 T lemon juice (approx one lemon)
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
black pepper
2 T balsamic vinegar
2 tsp maple syrup
2 tsp sundried tomato paste
You’ll make two separate dressings for this salad. So find two jars with lids that you can easily mix them in. Alternatively, you can whisk each in separate bowls.

In the first jar, put the zest, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. In the second jar put the remaining ingredients (vinegar, maple syrup, tomato paste). Shake ’em up good! Taste and adjust as necessary. (The lemon dressing should make your mouth pucker just a ’tish. This helps create contrast to the sweet balsamic dressing)

Serving the Salad

PSA : Raw zucchini can get watery if it sits with acidic or salty ingredients. So plate this up right before you are going to serve it.

If your zucchini is longer than five inches, cut it in half. Using a mandoline, ideally (really it is so much faster this way and there are very good and cheaper ones you can get. Here’s mine.), slice the zucchini on the 2.0 mm setting. If you are doing this by hand, slice it as thin as you can get it!

Now you are going to need one very large platter for this or two smaller ones. You don’t want the zucchini to be heaped, you want most of it to be able to touch the bottom of the platter so that with each bite you get some of the dressings.

Before you arrange them on the platter(s), carefully pour the balsamic dressing on the bottom of the platter. Then arrange the zucchini slices like rippling ribbons (see the photos for an idea). This balsamic dressing is going end up being hidden by the ingredients – it’s a sweet surprise for your guests or family.

In the hollows created by the ribbony zucchini, tuck in 1/8th inch slices of the mozzarella. In a similar fashion tuck in small leaves of basil. Chiffonade the rest of the basil, set aside.

Drizzle the lemon dressing all over the zucchini and mozzarella. Then using a fork to pick up little bits of zest, scatter it over top the salad. Do the same with the basil. Next, dot the salad (and plate) with half inch “dots” of sundried tomato paste. Lastly finish off the salad with a few grinds of fresh black pepper. Serve!

  • zest from one lemon (set aside 1/2 tsp for the dressing in a small bowl)

For the dressings

  • 1/2 tsp reserved lemon zest
  • 2 T lemon juice (approx one lemon)
  • 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp sundried tomato paste

You’ll make two separate dressings for this salad. So find two jars with lids that you can easily mix them in. Alternatively, you can whisk each in separate bowls.

In the first jar, put the zest, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. In the second jar put the remaining ingredients (vinegar, maple syrup, tomato paste). Shake ’em up good! Taste and adjust as necessary. (The lemon dressing should make your
mouth pucker just a ’tish. This helps create contrast to the sweet balsamic dressing)

Serving the Salad

PSA : Raw zucchini can get watery if it sits with acidic or salty ingredients. So plate this up right before you are going to serve it.

IMG_4452If your zucchini is longer than five inches, cut it in half. Using a mandoline, ideally (really it is so much faster this way and there are very good and cheaper ones you can get. Here’s mine.), slice the zucchini on the 2.0 mm setting. If you are doing this by hand, slice it as thin as you can get it!


Now you are going to need one very large platter for this or two smaller ones. You don’t want the zucchini to be heaped, you want most of it to be able to touch the bottom of the platter so that with each bite you get some of the dressings.

Before you arrange them on the platter(s), carefully pour the balsamic dressing on the bottom of the platter. Then arrange the zucchini slices like rippling ribbons (see the photos for an idea). This balsamic dressing is going end up being hidden by the ingredients – it’s a sweet surprise for your guests or family. 

 

In the hollows created by the ribbony zucchini, tuck in 1/8th inch slices of the mozzarella. In a similar fashion tuck in small leaves of basil. Chiffonade the rest of the basil, set aside.

Drizzle the lemon dressing all over the zucchini and mozzarella. Then using a fork to pick up little bits of zest, scatter it over top the salad. Do the same with the basil. Next, dot the salad (and plate) with  half inch “dots” of sundried tomato paste. Lastly finish off the salad with a few grinds of fresh black pepper. Serve!

~~~~~

IMG_4481

 

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