Thursday, May 9, 2013

IHCC: A Squash is a Squash, Of Course, Of Course

This week's squash theme seems a bit out of sync with the seasons. In this corner of the world, winter squash haven't been in the markets for a couple of months now, and the garden flood of summer squash has not yet begun. There are some zucchini (aka courgettes) in the shops, coming from more southern climes, and this week there were even some organic ones. A quick look through Ottolenghi didn't turn up anything that appealed for this week, but a search on the web turned up Zucchini and Hazelnut Salad from Plenty, which tickled my fancy.

This is an easy-to-make salad that made a nice starter followed by a pasta dish. You begin by toasting some hazelnuts, letting them cool a bit, rubbing off most of the skins, and chopping them coarsely. While the nuts are toasting, heat a grill pan and slice the zucchini thickly. Toss the slices with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then grill them to make nice sear marks. Transfer to a bowl and toss with balsamic vinegar.

When the slices are cool, toss them together with a bit more olive oil, handfuls of green and purple basil leaves, and the chopped nuts. Divide salad among your plates, top with sliced Parmesan, and drizzle on a bit of hazelnut oil. I skipped this step, since I forgot to buy the hazelnut oil. But actually I think it might be better to add the hazelnut oil when tossing with the basil to have a salad that's not quite so oily.

The garden supply of basil being very limited right now, I made only a half recipe. This made two servings, nice for a starter, but a bit skimpy if you wanted more substantial servings. It was very tasty. though, and this is a recipe to repeat with the summer's garden bounty.

This post is shared with this week's I Heart Cooking Clubs.


  1. This was a popular recipe! For some reason I never noticed it...and I have Plenty! Nice mixture of flavors and textures. Makes for an interesting salad.

  2. This recipe is so appealing to me. I definitely want to give a try very soon. Yours looks very pretty!

  3. This was a great recipe. I made a half batch too but ate it all myself for dinner. ;-)

  4. This one was such a popular choice this week. I've actually had it bookmarked for ages, and don't know why I didn't get around to making it all summer. Definitely have to try it when next summer rolls around though. Love toasted hazelnuts in salads, and I would definitely eat this as a complete meal.