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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Zucchini Salad with Feta Recipe

Zucchini salad
Everyone I know is looking for a good recipe that uses zucchini. Enormous zucchini appear from behind large green leaves surprising even the most vigilant gardeners. It seems there is always too much of it. No one complains about too many peaches or too many tomatoes. Too much zucchini? It's likely to be left on a neighbors doorstep as a "present."

This salad is one of my favorite ways to cook and eat zucchini. It's based on a salad in Claudia Roden's The Book of Middle Eastern Food, a book I turn to again and again. I like it seasoned with toasted cumin instead of coriander and caraway and a little bit of scallion to add texture and oniony flavor. It's called a salad but it's soft, like a dip. The sweetness of the zucchini is balanced by the saltiness of the feta, the sourness of the lemon. If you want to make even the blandest vegetable taste good, I recommend dousing it in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and topping it with feta!

For a light Summer meal I'd serve this salad well chilled along with bread and other assorted vegetable side dishes like this Middle Eastern carrot salad, tomato salad, marinated mushrooms or with hummus and pita or grilled kebabs. It's a healthy dish to keep in the fridge for a little snack though you may find you polish if off pretty quickly.

Zucchini Salad with FetaServes 2-4


1 lb zucchini
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon chili paste or harissa
1 clove garlic, pressed or finely minced and mashed
1/2 teaspoon toasted ground cumin
2 scallions, white and pale green parts only, minced
1/4 cup feta, crumbled


Cut zucchini into about 5 pieces and place in a large saucepan; cover with water, add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cook about 15 minutes or until zucchini is very tender. Drain in a colander, while zucchini is still in colander, coarsely mash zucchini with a fork; pressing out the liquid but not the pulp.

Combine the lemon juice, olive oil, chili paste, garlic and cumin in a serving bowl. Add zucchini and minced green onion and mix. Taste for seasoning and salt, but don't use too much if your feta is salty. Top with feta. Chill before serving with pita or bread.