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Raw zucchini can be a dull ingredient, but when it’s very thinly sliced it marinates beautifully, especially in lemon juice. Just like Martha Rose Shulman, I like to use a mixture of green and yellow squash here. Assemble this dish at least four hours before you wish to serve it, so that the squash has time to soften and soak up the lemony marinade. I have added some additional instructions, notes and photos to the original Martha Rose recipe noted in italics.
1 pound medium or small zucchini, preferably a mix of green and yellow
Salt to taste. (I use about 1 tsp per pound of zucchini. I like the zucchini to retain a salty taste after it has been rinsed. Also, the melding of the salt, lemon, garlic and olive oil is key to this recipe)
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, mint, chives, dill or a combination . Fresh tarragon, thyme are also good.
1. Cut the ends of the zucchini off , then cut the zucchini in half crosswise.
2. Slice the squash as thinly as you can. The best way to do this is with a vegetable peeler such as the OXO Good Grips Swivel Peeler. You can see Jim hard at work slicing these zucchini’s with our OXO peeler. My method is to slice one side of the zucchini until it is flat, then turn it and do the same. You will get lots of very thin slices, some with peel edges, some without, that’s OK. Keep slicing until you get to the seeds. You can use the core with the seeds if you like or not.
Here we are, down to the seeds:
Sprinkle with salt, preferably kosher salt, and let sit for 15 to 30 minutes.
3. Rinse and drain on paper towels. Yes, you can do it this way, but I prefer to use a OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner. Rinse the zucchini as you would any greens: submerge the zucchini in cold water in the outside bowl of the spinner, then drain the strainer. Now spin dry as would for greens. Since the zucchini is heavier than most greens, you may have to divide it into 2 parts so as not to overtax your spinner. Other than that, it works like a charm!
4. Mix together the lemon juice, garlic and olive oil. Toss with the zucchini. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for four to six hours.
5. Remove from the refrigerator, and remove the garlic clove. Add the fresh herbs, and toss together. Taste, adjust seasoning and serve.
CatKnitz Cooks Notes:
6. Garlic: The first time I made this I didn’t read (or remember!) the directions regarding garlic. I mashed and chopped the garlic and added it to the vinaigrette. We ate it and declared the recipe, yum! Only on a second look at the recipe did I notice that you were supposed to crush the garlic clove, leave it whole, and remove it before serving. Depending on your love of garlic, you can prepare as directed above or chop it up and leave it in.
7. Lemon Juice/Olive Oil/Salt Ratio: The first time I made this recipe I looked at the ratio of lemon juice to olive oil (equal parts) and thought: this must be a mistake. But, I trusted the source and made it according to recipe. I am so happy that I did. The balance of salt to lemon juice to olive oil is just right
8. Yes, really, this dish keeps for a few days. I didn’t really think it would, as most salads with dressing on them don’t keep after a few hours, but this one keeps going for at least 2 days and sometimes 3 days if it lasts that long in your house. It’s that good! Thanks Martha Shulman.
(All sliced up and ready for the salt, lemon, olive oil, garlic and herbs)
Yield: Serves four.
Advance preparation: This dish will keep for a day or two, but it is best served just after the herbs are added. The lemony zucchini will lose its flavor over time.
Nutritional information per serving: 113 calories; 2 grams saturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 7 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 5 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 11 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste), 2 grams protein