Take advantage of late summer's bounty and prepare this Raw Zucchini Salad with Green Olives, Mint, and Pecorino, adapted from A16 Food + Wine by Nate Appleman and Shelley Lindgren. Plenty of good olive oil and a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice add velvety and tart flavors sure to please even those who are wary of raw food.
Pair this verdant salad with a bottle of crisp, green-tinted Verdeca. The grape is extensively grown in southern Puglia and is one of the primary components of vermouth.
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- Yield:6 servings
- 1 1/2 pounds zucchini (3 large or 6 medium)
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup green olives, pitted and sliced
- 2/3 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
- 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, chopped
- Block of aged pecorino for shaving
- Freshly ground black pepper
Trim the ends of the zucchini. Using a mandoline or a sharp knife, slice the zucchini lengthwise into 1/8-inch thick ribbons. Toss the ribbons with about 1 teaspoon salt, place in a colander over a bowl, and set aside for 10 minutes. The zucchini will wilt and soften as the salt leaches out moisture.
Rinse the zucchini under cold running water, pat dry, and place in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, olives, parsley, and mint and toss to coat the zucchini evenly. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed. Be careful not to over-season, as the olives are salty.
Arrange the salad on a platter, distributing the olives evenly. Using a vegetable peeler, shave curls of the pecorino over the salad. Finish with a grind of pepper and serve immediately—the salad becomes soggy if it sits too long.