In a culinary context, the zucchini is treated as a vegetable, which means it's usually cooked and presented as a savoury dish or accompaniment. Botanically, however, the zucchini is an immature fruit, being the swollen ovary of the zucchini flower! Amazingly versatile, zucchini yield countless fabulous recipes perfect for summer, like this cool and refreshing Shaved Green and Yellow Zucchini with Almond Salsa Verde, which are simply shaved ribbons of raw zucchini tossed in an aromatic mixture of cilantro, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, capers, shallots and garlic. Combined with chopped almonds, which are a great source of vitamin E, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper and niacin, almonds are the 'Queen of Nuts' with more nutrients and health benefits than any other nut. Simple, healthy and delicious, this quick and easy salad is just one more way to take advantage of this summer's bounty.
Shaved Zucchini with Almond Salsa Verde
1/2 cup finely chopped toasted almonds
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp chopped capers
1 tbsp minced shallots
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 oz yellow squash
8 oz green zucchini
In a large bowl, combine almonds, cilantro, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, capers, shallots, garlic, salt and mix thoroughly.
Trim the ends from the yellow squash and green zucchini and cut in half crosswise. Shave into ribbons using a vegetable peeler. Toss with the salsa verde and flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Drizzle with more extra-virgin olive oil and serve. Garnish with some additional nuts and cilantro if desired.