If your own garden isn't overrun with zucchini at some point this summer, you no doubt have a friend, neighbor or coworker bringing you bags of the stuff from his garden. Fortunately, you can do a lot with zucchini--from main dishes to desserts. Here's my zesty zucchini salad for a too-hot-to-cook kind of day.
I didn't plant any this year myself. I just knew I wasn't up to riding herd on a rambunctious zucchini patch. It's a very rewarding plant for beginners or gardeners who lack confidence -- no matter what you do, it flourishes and makes you feel like the real deal!
If you're making a meal for 8 people, you can double or triple this recipe and really whittle that pile of zucchini down. I wouldn't necessarily multiply the amount of salt by 2 or 3, though. I give you directions below for getting the water out of the shredded zucchini, but as I was doing all that, I spied the salad spinner out of the corner of my eye and wondered. Hmm ...
Next time I'm going to try the salad spinner and see if it works as well as the squeezing method. Wouldn't that be a boon?! If you've "wrung out" salted shredded zucchini in your salad spinner, or ever do, let me know how it works. What do you like to make with zucchini?
Zesty Zucchini Salad
1 pound zucchini, shredded (4 cups)
1 Shred the zucchini. Place it in a colander set over a bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and mix it in. Let stand for 20 to 30 minutes. A lot of liquid will come out. Squeeze handfuls of it to get more liquid out. Then place it in a flour sack dish towel or couple of layers of unbleached paper towels to give it a final squeeze. Put the zucchini in a 1.5-quart bowl. Shred the carrots and slice the red bell pepper (I used my new Wusthof Classic 6-Inch Extra-Wide Cook's Knife), and add them to the bowl. Sprinkle on the toasted sesame seeds.
2 In small bowl, whisk together the sugar, ginger, pepper and mustard. Whisk in the sesame oil and soy sauce, making sure the dry ingredients (particularly the ginger) are not clumpy. Whisk in the vinegar and olive oil. Pour over the salad, and toss to coat. Cover and chill for 1 hour or up to 1 day.