I know. It is Winter. And I am posting about a zucchini harvest.
And I am pretty keen on seasonal eating...But something funny is happening. My Dad's zucchini are loving this season. We are in a subtropical growing zone which can throw normal growing seasons a fair bit. But I can't remember having a glut of zucchini in Winter before... It could just be my Dad. He is a pretty amazing gardener. And experiments a lot with his beds. Either way, I have a lot of zucchini. Not an issue in this household.
I have raised before the epiphany (as in "a moment of sudden and great revelation or realization") that is grilled brassicas. Well... yep you guessed it... wait for grilled zucchini!
This mix of ingredients is so incredibly well suited that you can eat it as a salad or side, toss it through a pasta, or make a lasagne and it will all taste amazing.
Let us start with the salad version.
Grilled zucchini salad w/ edamame, mint, feta and caramelised white wine vinegar
4 small-medium sized zucchini, sliced thinly with a mandoline or vegetable peeler (about 5-7 pieces/zucchini)
100g shelled edamame (if you don't have access to edamame, use broad beans. They are delicious however not as high in protein. Promise you will double shell them down to their bright green pod - if frozen just cover the pale pods in boiling water, find a friend, give them a glass of wine, and tell the to pop them out... seriously.
block of firm feta cheese, crumbled
bunch of mint
extra virgin olive oil (because it is so much better for you than vegetable oil)
1/8 cup raw sugar
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1. Gently toss your zucchini slices in olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Grill the slices. Try to turn them once only to keep a nice pattern. Don't under cook them. Place them aside.
2. Blanch your edamame or de-pod your broad beans.
3. In a small pan, bring the raw sugar and the white wine vinegar to a simmer for 3-5 minutes until the bubbles get bigger (Ie: the sauce reduces and thickens a little as it caramelises). Don't forget it- it will turn into vinegar toffee.
4. Toss the edamame or broad beans in the reduced vinegar.
5. Plate. For the deconstructed look, roll each zucchini slice and place 5-7 on a plate. Scatter the edamame, crumbled feta and mint leaves around the zucchini and top with the left over caramelised vinegar. For a more casual look (or a big dinner party), combine all your ingredients in a bowl and toss.
I dare you not to eat it all whilst you are cooking.