Swap Recipe: Jenn’s Zucchini Summer Salad with Lemon, Mint and Walnuts

Jenn Zucchini SaladRaw food veganism, you got me this time.

As many of you know, July in Toronto was frequently the equivalent of living in a steam oven. Attempting to be an optimistic opportunist, I thought about how it would have been cool to bake bread and see that yeast kick into action, making dough rise in super humid rooms at super speeds. But that would have involved switching on the oven – definitely not cool.

(Did You Know? Yeast cells die at temperatures above 50 degrees Celsius. While it felt like the weather was getting close to that, the T.O. forecast hit a high of 35.4 degrees C plus an unsightly humidity overhead that brought it to the low 40s).

So I ditched the plans of baking. Heck, I even ditched plans of using any heat in preparing food. My initial plan had been to use the beautiful zucchini from my Fresh City Farms basket to make zucchini loaves for the swap. But zucchini is a versatile ingredient, thanks to its mild flavour and structure, so I opted for something more garden-fresh, staying raw and inviting mint and lemon to the party.

The saying goes, “if you can’t take the heat, get out of kitchen.” With the heat reaching far beyond the kitchen these days, you can get out if you want to and make this baby just about anywhere.* Just bring your chef’s knife, a cutting board, a measuring cup, and a mixing bowl, and then you, my friends, can stay cool and nosh on this crunchy salad too.

*Food safety was upheld! I made prepared the portions in a clean kitchen with all the running water I needed in arm’s length. That said, if you’d like to start a wacky photo contest, please submit photos of your rogue-location salad-creating stations.

Eat this mix as a salad on its own, or toss it into a savoury pancake or omelette to make it part of something more substantial. I bet it would make quick friends with noodles for a pasta salad too.

What you need
  • 3 medium zucchinis (or their equivalent in small sizes – flavours and nutrients start to dilute as vegetables grow and gain water weight!)
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup EVOO
  • 1 lemon (zested then juiced)
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup crushed walnuts
What you need to do
1. Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise, and then slice into 1/8 inch half-moons. You want it to stay thin for good dressing-to-morsel ratio, but also need to keep the crunch. Place into a large mixing bowl.
2. Roll the mint into a chiffonade and chop chop chop away! Add to the mixing bowl with the zucchini.
3. In the measuring cup, combine the EVOO, white wine vinegar, lemon zest, lemon juice, kosher salt, and pepper. Mix with a fork to emulsify.
4. Add the dressing to the zucchini and mint and mix well.
5. Once all of the zucchini is well-coated with dressing, add in the walnuts. Combine thoroughly and serve!
Makes approximately 4 cups.
I made two batches for the food swap, giving 1.5-2 cup portions.

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This item was part of our food swap on July 21st, 2013. This dish was swapped for:

  • Natalie’s Virgin Sangria
  • Annie’s Vegetarian Sushi
  • Spencer’s Glutinous Black Rice Salad
  • Glyde’s Rice Balls

Check out all the recipes on our July Swap Round-Up post coming soon!

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One comment

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