Zucchini and Avocado Salad with Lemon-Thyme Dressing
It’s the end (some say thankfully) of zucchini season. If you don’t think you can stand the sight of one more of them, try this fresh, simple recipe. It’s best with smaller zucchini–save the last of those giant ones for quick pickles or zucchini muffins. Use a very sharp vegetable peeler for the prettiest appearance. You can also toss in some small red grape or halved cherry tomatoes.
1 pound zucchini
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced thyme or lemon-thyme leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
Pecorino-Romano or other hard, sharp cheese (optional)
- Trim and discard stems from zucchini. Using a vegetable peeler, and holding zucchini as if you were going to peel it, slice thin ribbons from the zucchini into a large bowl, including skin and white flesh. When you get to the center seed portion of zucchini, stop peeling. Discard center and seeds.
- Whisk oil, lemon juice and thyme together in a small bowl. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Pour over zucchini and toss to mix. Set aside.
- Heat a small skillet over low heat, and toast pine nuts for 2 minutes, tossing frequently, until fragrant and just starting to turn golden. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Stack basil leaves and thinly slice crosswise into very thin strips. Add to bowl with zucchini. Halve avocado, remove pit and then halve each half lengthwise, so avocado is quartered. Carefully peel off skin, and cut flesh lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick slices. Add to zucchini, and carefully toss to mix.
- To serve, use tongs to lift zucchini and avocado mixture onto individual plates. Sprinkle toasted pine nuts over. Shave thin slices of Pecorino-Romano over salad, if desired, and serve immediately.