While we didn’t get to explore the endless churches in “The Holy City”, we did have a memorable few food-filled days in Charleston, South Carolina. Lush cobblestone alleys, a sprinkling of palm trees, hours to read! Vacation is bliss, agreed?
Our spring break with Andrew’s family included a mother/daughter-in-law farmer’s market venture. So many pickles!
Let’s talk food. Poogan’s Porch served fried green tomatoes out of this world. Airy, spiced batter fried alongside fresh peach chutney and pecan-encrusted goat cheese. A surprising, yes, but stellar combination. (Andrew was beside me, chomping on alligator).
And the farmer’s market had summer produce! In April! Tomatoes in every color, eggplant, strawberries, melons, broccoli, asparagus, peppers, mushrooms, plums, corn! And pickled okra? A slime-free revelation.
Though I adored it last summer, I refused to post the following recipe out of sheer shame. The photos (with my former camera) did this no-cook dish little justice. Here it is at last, you might share my gratitude for a more-exciting-but-just-as-easy-as-romaine salad. No salad spinner or tricks here, this is really as straightforward and delicious as can be. Ideal cool crunch for the hottest days.
Shaved Zucchini Salad with Parmesan and Pine Nuts
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
2 pounds medium zucchini, trimmed
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
Small wedge of Parmesan cheese
Toast the pine nuts (or almonds, if you prefer) in a dry skillet over medium-low heat. Toss occasionally until they are golden-brown and fragrant. Do not burn! Set aside.
With one eye on the stovetop nuts, whisk the oil, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and crushed red pepper in a small bowl to blend. Taste and adjust as you like it. Set the dressing aside.
Using a vegetable peeler—press firmly—and working from top to bottom of each zucchini, slice zucchini into ribbons (about 1/16 inch thick). You don’t need to include the core of the zucchini (maybe shred them for my all-time favorite fritters to serve with salmon).