Today´s recipe for the French Fridays with Dorie group is Zucchini Tagliatelle with Mint, Cucumber, and Lemon, a very pretty salad that gets its name from long slices of zucchini that bear a striking resemblance to tagliatelle pasta.
The ingredients required for this recipe are few, namely, some zucchinis, English cucumber, sweet onion, lemon zest and juice, pistachio oil, freshly ground black pepper and a good salt. I substituted Italian parsley for the mint and added summer squash for color and taste to this salad.
Since we were having whole chickens for dinner, I prepared two side dishes, Dorie´s Zucchini Tagliatelle a.k.a. Courgette and Summer Squash Salad and Grilled Radicchio with a Feta Dip.
The preparation of the salad is simple, using a mandolin or a vegetable peeler, you slice the zucchini and summer squash lengthwise as thin as you can and then place the slices in a salad bowl, add some peeled, seeded and diced cucumber, chopped Italian parsley, and lemon peel. Then you whisk some freshly squeezed lemon juice, pistachio oil or good extra virgin olive oil, freshly ground black pepper and salt in a small bowl, pour it over the thinly sliced vegetables mixture and then toss carefully just to coat. After you refrigerated the Courgette and Summer Squash Salad for about an hour, test for seasoning and toss with chopped Italian parsley and plate the salad – it makes for a nice presentation if you can scatter the slices over a large plate.
Recipe for Grilled Radicchio with Feta Dip
150 grams (5.3 ounces) greek feta cheese
100 grams (3.5 ounces) natural yoghurt
½ tsp hot ground paprika (you can also use mild ground paprika or one of the smoked varieties if you prefer)
Italian parsley (small bunch)
juice of ½ lemon
fine sea salt (go easy with the salt as feta can be rather salty, so it is best to add the salt at the end)
freshly ground pepper
1. Put all the ingredients ,except herbs, in a blender and process until reasonably smooth (I do not mind some small chunks of feta in my dip)
2. Wash and clean chives and parsley and chop finely.
3. Add chopped herbs to the dip.
4. Place dip in a fridge for about thirty minutes prior to serving.
Note: The dip can be prepared in advance and kept in the fridge but note that if you prepare this dip in advance, you might want to add the herbs thirty minutes before serving.
Grilled Radicchio Slices
2 large heads of radicchio (about 1 pound total)
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
juice of half a lime or lemon
basil (a few leaves)
1. Wash the radicchio and remove any loose outer leaves, trim bases, leaving heads intact.
2. Halve through core end, cut each half into 3 wedges with some core still attached.
3. Place radicchio wedges in a large bowl with cold and well salted water.
4. Let the radicchio soak in the salty water for about ten minutes (if you follow this method, some of the bitterness will be drawn from the leaves).
5. Take the radicchio out of the water, place the slices on kitchen towels and dry off very carefully.
6. Heat a well-seasoned grill pan.
7. Brush radicchio lightly with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
8. Grill the radicchio in batches over moderate heat for a few minutes, turn and grill for another few minutes until the radicchio slices are browned and hearts are tender.
9. Transfer to a platter and keep warm.
10. Drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil, lime or lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
11. Decorate with a few basil leaves.
12. Serve with the Feta Dip.
We enjoyed this Courgette and Summer Squash Salad tremendously, kids and adults alike, and the taste testers unanimously appreciated the presentation. A keeper, pure and simple. And a nice side dish to grilled chicken and alongside the grilled raddichio with feta dip.
To see how the other talented Doristas prepared this dish, please click here.
A NOTE TO MY BLOG READERS: inspired by all the wonderful fruits and honey I bought at a country fair we visited a few days ago, starting tomorrow, Sunday, September 2, 2012, I will be posting one late summer/early fall cake/dessert recipe every day, for one week, some old-fashioned, some more modern, most of them with a European twist - I sincerely hope that you will enjoy my week-long series. I would like to hear from you what your favorite seasonal baked goods are...
PART I on Sunday will be Sweet Dough Leaves with Plums & Plum Torte