Thursday, 6 October 2011

Marinated Zucchini, Olive & Artichoke Salad

Last weekend Missy Moo, my parents and I made the two hour trip to my sister's house to celebrate my 5 year old niece's birthday. It was a great day! Not only did we get to spend the day with family (my men folk were busy being manly at yet another Cub camp) but my sister sent me home with a HUGE zucchini from her garden. SCORE!!

This lovely zucchini sat on my counter and in my fridge for ..... a week. Yah. I kind of forgot about it and then I was just too busy to deal with it. Zucchini neglect. It happens. Sad but true. Originally I just thought I'd shred it and freeze it for muffins later on. But that was kind of boring and obvious. I wanted to use this gifted zucc for something special!

Since I'm not a big sandwich eater I decided to make a marinated salad to take for lunch at work. Normally I'd whip one up using tomatoes, onion and cucumber but sadly I was all out of cucs ... but I did have my monster zucchini!

So onto the net I went in search for a marinated zucchini salad and I found a wonderful recipe by Kalyn of "Kalyn's Kitchen"! It had a lot of my favourite flavours including black olives and my new love ... artichokes! Kalyn has a wonderful blog filled with amazing recipes so go check her out!

While I could have used Kalyn's dressing I didn't have any of the bottled dressing she suggested (by Mr Paul Newman) so back on the net I went. It was on yet another blog that I found what I was looking for! With a few small tweaks I had a delicious yet simple oil and vinegar dressing (that claims to be very close to Paul Newman's "Newman's Own" oil and vinegar dressing!). Perfect!!

Combine the salad with the homemade dressing and I got myself a spectacular salad for my lunch for the past few days! The dressing was the perfect balance of tangy and sweet and really complimented the artichokes, zucchini, olives and fresh Parmesan.

So if you are inundated with massive zucchinis (or have neighbours and family members pawning them off on you) give this recipe a try!

Marinated Zucchini, Olive & Artichoke Salad
Salad Inspired by: Kalyn's Kitchen

3 small zucchini, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 yellow pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 small jar of artichoke hearts, drained & cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 red onion, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 (15oz) can black olives, drained
1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
freshly ground black pepper & salt

Inspired by:

2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp very finely chopped red onion
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
juice of 1/2 lemon (approximately 2 tbsp)
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive or grapeseed oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper -- to taste

Steam zucchini pieces until just tender/crisp in texture, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Immediately remove zucchini from the steamer and place in a large bowl of ice water (this stops the zucchini from continuing to cook). Drain well and place zucchini in another large bowl. Add yellow pepper, artichokes, red onion and black olives. Toss well.

Prepare dressing: Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl; whisk well to combine.

Pour dressing over zucchini mixture and gently stir to ensure that all of the veggies are coated in the dressing. Allow mixture to marinate for 6-8 hours (or more) in the fridge.

Before serving, stir salad to recoat the veggies. Sprinkle fresh Parmesan cheese, salt and black pepper according to your tastes. Personally I follow the adage 'go big or go home' when it comes to fresh Parm and fresh black pepper. :)


Dzoli said...

Greta zuccini recepie;))

Jen at The Three Little Piglets said...

Even if all you did was shave the zucchini into thin strips, that dressing would be delicious!

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Dzoli -- thanks so much!

Jen -- I never thought of shaving the zucchini! I did love the chunkiness of this salad but thin strips (or even juilienned) would be a nice change too. :)

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