This is a new favorite salad, and a fresh way to handle a profusion of zucchini during summer. It’s light and refreshing with the crunch of almonds and croutons, and the brightness of mint and lemon. What’s not to love?
This recipe calls for halving the zucchini lengthwise, and roasting it briefly at a high heat without any oil. The technique works well to sear the zucchini without burning it, and the interior is perfectly tender. The amount of lemon juice in the original recipe was a bit excessive (in my mind) because the extra lemon juice sat in a pool in the bottom of the serving bowl. In the future I will reduce the amount from 3 lemons to 2 lemons.
The recipe comes from the Osteria cookbooks by Rick Tramonto and Mary Goodbody, which features rustic Italian food from Tramonto’s childhood. This salad can be served as an antipasto, or as a side salad.
ROASTED ZUCCHINI AND MINT SALAD
8 zucchini, halved lengthwise
4 sprigs fresh mint
about 2/3 cup croutons (homemade, if possible)
about 1/2 cup toasted almonds
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
juice of 3 lemons (or 2 lemons)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
fresh mint leaves for garnish
Preheat the oven to 500F.
Lay the zucchini on a baking sheet, skin side up, and bake for about 8 minutes, or until the zucchini are golden brown on the flat, fleshy side.
Let the zucchini cool slightly and then slice into half-moons.
In a bowl, mix the zucchini, mint sprigs, croutons, and toasted almonds. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice, toss, and then season to taste with salt and pepper.
Arrange on a serving platter and garnish with fresh mint leaves.