This elegant but easy Hazelnut, Parmesan, and Grilled Zucchini Salad combines crunchy, creamy, and salty to deliciously highlight fresh summer squash.
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August is arguably the most fruitful time of the year when it comes to produce. Gardens have matured, and markets overflow with fresh fruits and vegetables. Such abundance is great, but it can also be difficult to figure out what to do with excess produce, especially varieties that don’t freeze too well. I’m looking at you, zucchini! Zucchini plants are especially productive, so over the years, I’ve gathered a handful of recipes that use healthy quantities of squashes so we can get through our stashes quickly.
This Hazelnut, Parmesan, and Grilled Zucchini Salad is one of my family’s long-time favorites. Two things make this dish especially great. First, it’s super quick to make. You basically grill the zucchini for mere minutes, toss it with seasonings, and you’re done. Second, it showcases zucchini in its best possible form. Zucchini gets a bad rap for becoming soft, even mushy, in the blink of an eye, so it’s super important to cook it minimally. In this recipe, the thick zucchini slices are simply seared on both sides, which provides flavor (and fab-looking grill marks!) while maintaining a toothsome texture.
The combination of crunchy hazelnuts, fresh basil, and salty Parmigiano-Reggiano creates a truly impressive salad. While the hazelnut oil is optional, it’s a luxurious finishing touch that delightfully underlines the salad’s flavors. Serve it as an appetizer or with grilled chicken or salmon.
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