If your family was anything like mine growing up, you spent the last half of August in some sort of zucchini-fueled frenzy, desperate to "get it used up", lest the last of summer's bounty go to waste. And really, fresh, local, in-season zucchini is a terrible thing to waste. (Nevertheless, despite our best efforts, we always had baseball bat sized ones rotting in the garden come the beginning of fall.) Warm zucchini salad is here to the rescue (along with the rest of the interwebs).
Luckily these days, the internet has zucchini recipes for dayyyyzzzzzzzzz. Check out a few of these I'm dying to try: zucchini patties, stuffed zucchini, or this gorgeous looking pasta from Love & Lemons. Yes please.
I'm adding my warm zucchini salad with mint and pistachios to this list, because it's been a summer staple in our house for years. It's gone through a few iterations over the years, and even today, we make it in different ways (in the summer, it's awesome to throw it on the grill vs. in a frying pan), and with different toppings and flavours. The lemon, mint and pistachios mix has become a fan favorite though.
A couple of things to note about this recipe: it requires extremely thin, long slices of zucchini, kind of reminiscent of pappardelle noodles. Unless you have mad knife skills, a mandolin is almost certainly going to be necessary here (be careful! those bbs are SHARP!). Because the noodles are so thin, you need to treat them super delicately. Get them in the pan gently, stir them gently, and only cook them for 5 minutes or so, then get them out of the pan.
Finally, because zucchini is so water-logged, it's a good idea to toss the strips with salt and then put them in a strainer for half an hour or so before you start. Not only does this give them great flavour, it also draws out some of that moisture. Pat the noodles dry with some paper towel, and you should be good to go.
This salad would also be a great side to my Chicken Bacon Ranch Burgers, just sayin'.
Warm Zucchini Salad with Mint and Pistachios
- 3 zucchinis, thinly sliced
- ½ tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 juice and zest of lemon
- ½ C grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ C chopped pistachios
- 10-15 fresh mint leaves
- After you have thinly sliced the zucchinis (hint, used a mandolin!), gently toss with salt. Place in a strainer over a bowl and let it rest for half an hour to draw out moisture.
- Pat zucchini dry with a paper towel.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the zucchini, cooking for about five minutes. Toss gently.
- Turn off the heat, and add lemon juice, lemon zest, and the parmesan cheese. Mix to combine.
- Place on a serving plater. Garnish with pistachios and fresh mint.