Do you love vegetables or do you merely tolerate them? When Brad and I met I quickly learned that one of his favourite quotes was borrowed from Homer Simpson, the infamous “you don’t make friends with salad”. I am happy to report that a few ‘properly’ cooked vegetable dishes changed his opinion, and now he happily gobbles up a plethora of salads that I make. I can eat vegetables in any form or shape, I will even eat the majority of them simply boiled with a pinch of salt and pepper or raw but if I am completely honest with you I could not be inspired to write about them. Salads are too often associated with dieting, and therefore pain, and it’s completely unfair! Vegetables could be so vibrant and lively if put together with a little bit of thought and care. This Warm Zucchini Salad shows up in our house regularly and with many variations. It could be served as a side dish to your meat for dinner or on it’s own for lunch. It could also be served warm or cold. You can also add a few chunks of fresh mozzarella for a balanced veg + protein meal. The flavours that all the ingredients produce together is like a beautiful melody. It’s so tasty and comforting especially on a cold winter day, the type of meal that will transport you from winter in London to the seaside by the Mediterranean. I tell you this salad is pure magic!
- Zucchini-4 small
- Grilled Red Peppers (prepared from a jar or your own. Recipe here) 1 or 2 large
- Tomatoes (red and yellow cherry tomatoes or regular)-1 large or 5-6 cherry tomatoes
- Marinated mushrooms(Italian anipasti or saute your own)-1/2 jar
- Garlic (minced)- 1 clove
- Basil (fresh or dried)-a small bunch
- Balsamic Vinegar- 1 tbsp.
- Olive Oil- 1 tblsp. for cooking zucchini
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Slice your zucchini 1/4″ thick , sprinkle them with salt and pan fry them in a tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat-2-3 minutes on each side until golden.
Slice grilled peppers and tomatoes and add them to the bowl.
Now throw in your mushrooms, drizzle a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, mix everything carefully taking care not to mash up your delicate vegetables. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
Done! This wonderful dish is as quick and simple as it sounds but there is nothing “simple” about the taste! It’s complex and involved. The sweetness of basil and zucchini balance the tanginess of tomatoes and balsamic vinegar while a slight taste of garlic adds a refreshing zing to the whole ensemble!