Friday, August 9, 2013

Tahini-Dressed Zucchini and Green Bean Salad

Apparently yesterday was National Zucchini Day. I don't usually celebrate food holidays, though I should really find out when national cookie day is (mmm...cookies). I made this yesterday for lunch, so apparently I just knew to celebrate one of my favorite summer veggies!

I found this recipe in one of my new favorite cookbooks River Cottage Veg. Guys, I adore this book, and am totally bummed it's nearly overdue at the library. It celebrates vegetables in such a fresh and beautiful way it makes me want to be vegetarian. Chris is going through an elimination diet right now, meaning he is essentially gluten free and vegetarian (also limiting his about tough) This was his pick from the book. 

There's a bit more prep then I usually care for in a salad, but the veggies become superstars by the end, making it well worth the effort. Full of delicious seasonal veggies, it's filling and satisfying!

I am submitting this salad to No Croutons Required, which is hosted by Jacqueline over at Tinned Tomatoes. This month's challenge is to come up with a soup or salad featuring seasonal ingredients. It's the perfect time to buy zucchini and tomatoes right now, so go ahead and make this beautiful salad!

I will also be submitting this recipe to Souper Sunday's over at Kahakai Kitchen! Enjoy!

Tahini-Dressed Zucchini and Green Bean Salad


For the tahini dressing
1 small garlic clove, crushed with a little coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons light tahini (stir jar well first)
Finely grated zest and juice from 1/2 lemon
Juice of 1/2 orange
1/2 teaspoon honey
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

For the salad
About 1/2 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium zucchini (about 14 ounces), sliced into 1/8-inch rounds
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 fresh red chile, seeded and finely chopped
About 4 ounces green beans, trimmed
4 good handfuls of salad greens
Handful of mint, finely shredded (optional)


First, make the tahini dressing. In a small bowl, stir together tahini, lemon zest and juice, orange juice, honey, and grind or two of black pepper. The dressing may thicken and go grainy or pasty, but don't worry. Just thin it down by whisking in a little water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you get a creamy, trickling consistency. Finally, gently stir in the olive oil. Taste and add a little more salt and pepper if needed. The dressing is now ready to use.

Now prep the veggies for the salad. Place tomatoes flesh side up on a lined baking sheet. Broil until the tomatoes start to shrivel and are bursting with juice, 5-10 minutes. Keep an eye on them!

Next, heat the olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over fairly high heat, and cook the zucchini slices in batches, tossing them occasionally, for a few minutes until tender and browned on both sides, transferring them to a bowl once cooked. Season generously with salt and pepper, add the lemon juice and chile, and toss together well.

Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil. Tip in the green beans, return to a boil and blanch for 1 minute. Drain, then dunk in cold water to refresh. Drain again, pat dry with a clean kitchen towl, and toss the beans with the zucchini.

To assemble the salad, spread the salad greens in a large, shallow serving bowl and scatter over the dressed zucchini and beans, tomatoes, and shredded mint, if using. Drizzle tahini dressing and serve.

Recipe Source: adapted from River Cottage Veg


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Did you try this recipe? Let me know what you think! :)

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