Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Zucchini Salad Recipe with Tomato and Basil

One thing I never imagined when I started writing my recipes down on a food blog is that I would start virtually *meeting* other bloggers from all over the world, and that I would actually get emotionally attached to some of them. It's been a pleasant surprise to me how you can understand the real character of someone through their written communication without ever having met them. This post is dedicated to Karina, who's right up there on the list of food bloggers who make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Karina shares her fabulous food creations at Gluten-Free Goddess, and has long ago learned to make delicious food that doesn't have gluten. However, recently life has been throwing Karina a definite hard ball, as she hasn't been feeling well for quite a while, and has been diagnosed with a whole new set of food allergies. Eating well while staying well just got a whole lot harder for her.

Obviously I'm not the only one who loves Karina, because Isaiah from Gluten-Free By The Bay has created a wonderful opportunity for her friends to show Karina how much we love her. She's calling the event Cooking for Karina, and it involves creating or adapting a recipe without using any of the ingredients Karina is allergic to. Post your recipe by July 10, then send Isaiah the link, and she'll have a recap with lots of great recipes and a whole lot of love for Karina. (You can find the list of ingredients to avoid and complete instructions at the link above. Entries need to be sent to Isaiah by July 10.)

Dear Karina:
It's a simple recipe, but I was smiling a big smile the whole time I ate it because the flavors made my mouth feel happy. Hope you will enjoy it too. Be sure every bite has some zucchini, tomato, balsamic vinaigrette, and basil to get the full effect.
Love always,
Kalyn

Salting the zucchini is pretty important in this recipe, because you want it to absorb the flavor of the dressing and you don't want the salad to be watery. This photo shows how much water came out of the zucchini in 30 minutes. Don't skip this step.

Zucchini Salad with Tomato and Basil
(Makes 2 servings, just enough for Karina and Steve; recipe created by Kalyn.)

Ingredients:
1 or 2 medium zucchini, washed and sliced in slices slightly less than 1/2 inch thick
(I used round 8-ball zucchini which are perfect for this, but you can use regular zucchini)
salt, for drawing water out of zucchini (I used kosher salt)
3-4 ripe tomatoes, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1/4 cup basil, cut into thin chiffonade (about 12 large basil leaves)
sea salt to taste (I used rosemary salt)

Dressing Ingredients::
1/4 cup top quality extra virgin olive oil
2 T top quality balsamic vinegar

Instructions:
Wash zucchini and slice slightly less than 1/2 inch thick, then put in colander in single layer. Sprinkle on a generous amount of table salt and let sit for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, shake off each zucchini slice and wipe dry with a paper towel.

While zucchini drains, slice tomatoes and chiffonade basil. (If you have large lettuce-leaf basil like I do, you can fold the leaves over for easier slicing.) Whisk together olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

To arrange salad, make a layer of zucchini slices on the plate, then a layer of tomato slices. Get creative here with the arrangement, depending on how big your zucchini and tomato slices are in proportion to each other. I put two tomatoes on each zucchini slice since I had the big slices of zucchini.

Drizzle a generous amount of balsamic vinaigrette over each salad. You may not need all the dressing. Season with sea salt, then sprinkle with basil strips and serve immediately. Be sure to get some of the zucchini, tomato, basil, and vinaigrette in each bite for optimum eating pleasure.


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Another Lovely Zucchini Recipe for Karina:
Zucchini Embraced Eggplant, Zucchini, and Grilled Pepper Dice with Capers from Lucullian Delights counter customizable free hit

18 comments:

Lydia said...

Beautiful post, beautiful recipe, and a lovely and thoughtful event.

Peter M said...

Great salad Kalyn...zucchini can be bland but the basil kicks everything up. Also, I hope the zucchini still has some crunch? I'll try this & report!

Karen said...

Kalyn, zucchini is not in the top ten (or fifty, really) for me, but your salad looks so fresh and ripe - delicious.

Kelly Mahoney said...

It just looks so fresh. I want to plan a cocktail party soon and I see this as a great summer dish for it.

meeso said...

So simple...I love these vegies and basil is so yummy!

Maria said...

Great post! And best wishes to Karina. Did the produce come from your garden? Your photos are beautiful!

Amy said...

What a simple yet delicious looking salad! I'll have to try this soon.

Barbara said...

Now I'm really missing summer. Gorgeous salad Kalayn.

Ellie said...

Kalyn, I looooooove zucchini but I've never thought of having it in a salad! Such a simple dish to celebrate one of my favourite veggies, gotta love it!

Kalyn said...

Hi everyone,
Glad you all liked the salad. I've been a bit distracted from the blog today since I'm tending my two nephews, ages 3 and 6. Whew. I hope my sister doesn't read this, but it's way past bedtime and they are still wide awake, in bed watching the cartoon network.

The TriniGourmet said...

very lovely kalyn :) i also want to take part in this event and am still narrowing my options :)

Paz said...

I love this recipe. I know Karina will feel better very soon with all these wonderful recipes coming her way.

Paz

Paz said...

P.S. I know the Nephews have fun with you and you must be their favorite aunt. Up late, watching cartoons? That's the life. ;-)

Paz

Karina Allrich said...

Dear Kalyn,

Oh, you know me well! Zucchini - tomatoes - basil - what's not to love?

You are sweeter than sweet. Thank you for your kind words...and this fresh and fabulous recipe!

Love ya! xoxo

Karina

Kalyn said...

Sarina, isn't it just a wonderful event, and Karina is so awesome.

Paz, I think I am the favorite Aunt, at least the kids are certainly anxious to come here. And it's certainly not for my cooking. Yesterday we were out shopping for food, and I fed them a hot dog from Costco for dinner and they were in heaven. Their mom actually cooks from scratch almost all the time, so they (of course) love to get any kind of packaged food!

Karina, I was hoping this would appeal to you. Glad you liked it.

Kristen said...

What a lovely post. I love zucchini and it is so timely right now. I'll have to give this a try as I have fresh basil calling my name too!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Your beauty shines thru in this one Kalyn! Wonderful salad.

Andy said...

This is a really nice and simple use of Zucchini!

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