Here is one of the salads from our family holiday celebrations. The flavour was light and fresh with the small zucchini melting in your mouth! Although not necessary, lemon basil really adds a lovely touch. This recipe was enough for 10, as one of several salads. It would go wonderfully with a barbeque or serve alone as a light lunch. Ingredients 4 small zucchini 400g English spinach, washed and spun (Other greens would work well too - lettuce, rocket, mesclun) 1-2 lemons 1/2 cup pine nuts 200 g feta cheese, firm - cut into 1cm blocks 1 well packed cup of semi-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped fresh basil, lemon basil and/or purple basil fresh garlic 1 or 2 cloves extra virgin olive oil salt and ground pepper
Method 1. Take about ten basil leaves and slice them width wise into small ribbons. Put the feta, sundried tomatoes, basil, one minced garlic clove and enough olive oil to cover into a small bowl. Allow to marinade while you prepare the rest of the salad. 2. Over high heat in a cast iron frying pan, gently toast the pine nuts, stirring constantly so they do not burn. Remove from heat. transfer to a cool bowl. 3. Gently tear spinach leaves into bite size pieces and place around the outside of a large, open salad bowl, leaving a well in the centre. 4. Remove the stem and base of the zucchinis. Using a sharp vegetable peeler, peel large ribbons of zucchini into the well, turning the zucchini once you reach the seed section to remove all of the flesh from the other sides. Discard the small seed section. 5. Zest the peel of the lemon over the top of the whole salad. Then cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice of the entire lemon over the zucchini. 6. Add a few glugs of olive oil (not too much but more then a sprinkle) to the zucchini and some salt. Then with your hands, mix the zucchini in the well so that it all coats with the dressing. Try to leave the spinach on the sides. Add more salt, lemon juice, garlic, cracked black pepper to taste. 7. Gently spoon the feta mixture over the top of the spinach leaves. Sprinkle the toasted pine nuts over the whole salad. 8. Chop more basil or use lemon basil and purple basil and sprinkle this over the top of the zucchini.