After eating this salad, I don't want the zucchini to ever stop and may seriously buying it (*gasp*) out of season at the grocery!!
I've mentioned the cookbook "Plenty" before and one taste of this salad will be explanation enough as to why I love it so much! Of course I had to substitute a few items in the original recipe due to living in a rural community, but I'm going to assume they made it taste BETTER!!
The other perk of this salad is the grilled zucchini that gives it a substantial feel and grilled flavor. Perfect for the vegetarians in your life, or as a filling luncheon salad.
I didn't completely peel the hazelnuts after oven toasting to give a little color to the salad and keep a rustic look going on! I also used my vegetable peeler on the Parmigiano-Reggiano to have a nice cheese curl and a larger piece of cheese.
ZUCCHINI & HAZELNUT SALAD
1/3 cup hazelnuts
3 small zucchini, sliced on bias about ¼ inch thick
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Salt & pepper
1 Teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 ¼ cup lettuce, sliced, I used romaine hearts
¼ cup basil leaves, torn
3 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved with vegetable peeler
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spread hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast 12-15 minutes until nicely browned. Rub off skin, or leave on and roughly chop.
In a small bowl, toss zucchini with 2 Tbs. olive oil, salt and pepper. On grill over high heat, lay out zucchini slices and cook 2 minutes per side, making sure you get nice grill marks. Place in a mixing bowl and toss with balsamic vinegar.
Allow zucchini to cool, then add remaining olive oil, hazelnuts and basil. Mix lightly, taste and adjust seasonings. (I added a bit of additional balsamic at this point too!) Place small pile of lettuce on plate, top with zucchini mixture and a few pieces of shaved Parmigiano cheese.