Zucchini Salad With Tarragon and Lemon and a Little Zucchini Love
Do you happen to know someone who’s discovered a bag of zucchinis on their front porch? As the legend goes, there are parts of the world where zucchini is so plentiful that growers are driven to surreptitiously and anonymously bestow bags full of the green beauties on the stoops and porches of their friends and neighbors. I’ve read lots of stories like this, but alas, have never had such good fortune–either as the grower/giver or the receiver. I always seem to have more zucchini recipes in my “must try” folder, than I do zucchinis:
Grilled Zucchini and Summer Squash Salad with Basil-Parmesan Dressing
Coconut Red-Lentil Curry
Buttermilk Summer Squash Soup
Zucchini Ricotta Cheesecake
Zucchini, Goat Cheese and Bacon Tart
Grilled Zucchini Flatbread
We grew a lot of zucchini in our garden when I was a kid. Sadly, I didn’t love it then the way that I do now, probably because it was cooked (a lot!) in only one of three ways: sliced thick, battered and pan fried, stuffed with tomatoes and ground beef and baked with mozzarella, or shredded for zucchini pancakes. Mom baked the occasional zucchini quick bread too, but when we were faced with more zucchinis than we could eat and refused to eat another zucchini pancake, mom didn’t put them on the neighbor’s porch. Instead, she started hiding zucchini in things like chocolate cake or her “apple” pie that didn’t contain a single apple. Mom was a tireless prankster and took great pleasure in watching an unsuspecting someone, who proclaimed to hate zucchini, tear into a piece of that pie.
Now that I know there are endless ways to deliciously prepare zucchini, I dream of finding a bag of them on my porch. After years of battling the squash vine borer in our garden, Greg and I have given up on growing squash, forcing me to begrudgingly tote them home from the farmers market a few at a time. My latest zucchini fetish–likely inspired by our hot and humid summer weather–has been to serve it raw. The zucchini salad pictured above can be a satisfying main course when served alongside a hearty slice of bread. It’s also an eye-catching, but simple starter course.
If you happen to know someone with too much zucchini on their hands, please send them my way. My list of “must try” zucchini recipes is growing fast.
Zucchini Salad With Tarragon and Lemon
- Inspired by Clotilde Dusoulier’s recipe in House Beautiful Magazine.
Makes 2 dinner salads or 4 starters.
2 small zucchinis, about 1 pound
2 ounces chèvre, crumbled (Feta is nice too.)
1/2 a lemon, zest and juice
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil (the nicest you have on hand)
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
coarse, flaky sea salt (like Maldon)
- Cut zucchini into 1/8-inch thick slices and arrange on plates in a thin layer.
- Sprinkle with crumbled cheese.
- Whisk together lemon zest and juice, vinegar, olive oil, chopped tarragon, and a pinch of salt.
- Drizzle the vinaigrette over the zucchini and cheese.
- Finish with toasted pine nuts and flaky salt.