A Simple Salad Two Ways

If there ever was a reason to grow a little patch of lemon thyme, this salad is it. The flavour of the lemon thyme really stands out — in fact I’d call it the star of the show.

This salad comes together really quickly–it just takes a couple of minutes to cut the niblets from the cob and make your zucchini ribbons. The combination of flavours is really fresh and flavourful. But I discovered that if you don’t have all the ingredients on hand, it is also good with a few minor adjustments. (Don’t you hate it when you discover that you missed an ingredient on your shopping list?) I swapped out the corn for some sliced grape tomatoes, edamame and voila, another tasty salad.

Okay, so I also forgot the yellow zucchini. But you get the idea, sometimes you have to go with what you have. It’s all part of what makes cooking so fun. Sometimes you land on a real winner when you make a substitution out of necessity.

Now, even though I’ve described the lemon thyme as the star of the show, this salad would still be good with regular thyme. 

Have you discovered any winning combinations out of necessity recently?

Zucchini Ribbon Salad

Adapted from Style at Home Magazine, August 2011

  • 2 green zucchini
  • 1 yellow zucchini
  • 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cob corn
  • Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, preferably toasted
  • 1 tbsp lemon thyme

Using a vegetable peeler, shave long ribbons from your zucchinis–but discard the centre core of each. Lay the strips on a large serving plate. Holding the corn cob upright, slice along the cob with a sharp knife to remove the niblets a few rows at a time. Sprinkle the fresh niblets over the zucchini ribbons. Spinkle the salad with the lemon zest and juice, red pepper flakes, olive oil, sea salt, feta, pine nuts and lemon thyme. Serve immediately.

NOTES:

  • I highly recommend these swiss peelers for making the zucchini ribbons and for peeling potatoes or veggies.

Perfect Summer Meals

“This is the perfect summer meal!”

That is the way several friends have described the casual fare at our recent summer get-togethers. I’ve been serving a couple different salads along side some type of grilled meat or burgers at each of our summer barbeques. Salads are a great way to take in all the wonderful fresh flavours of summer and they help to ensure that you still have room for dessert!

I’m going to share some of my favourite summer salads over the next couple of weeks. As it’s the time of year when we are on the go–exploring cottage country and catching up with friends as much as possible–I’m going to be short and sweet in my posts.

So, getting straight to the point, here’s the salad that I made almost every weekend last year. It’s as flavourful as it is colourful–and if the truth be told, I could eat the entire bowl. I highly recommend this salad. I must warn you though, if you tell people that this is succotash, your guests may start to quote Sylvester the Cat (“Sufferin’ Succotash!”).

Summer Succotash — You’ll note that the photo was taken before I added the avocado

Summer Succotash

Adapted from In My Mother’s Kitchen by Trish Magwood

  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 4 ears of corn, cooked
  • 1 sweet red pepper, diced
  • ¼ red onion, diced
  • 1 ½ green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ cups halved grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup shelled edamame, blanched and cooled
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 avocado, cubed

Directions:

Cut the corn off the cob. Add red pepper, red onion, green onions, tomatoes, edamame, olive oil, salt and lime juice. Stir well. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Add avocado just before serving.

Notes:

  • To prepare the corn, I put the husked corn in a large pot, bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat and boil for five minutes. The original recipe included instructions to mix together the zest of one lime, with a bit of melted butter and cayenne — then brush this on the corn before grilling on the barbeque. I’ve simplified this and I don’t think the salad loses any flavour in the process. You could certainly try this if you have the time.
  • I’ve made this the same day in a pinch. It still tastes great.
  • Buying frozen shelled edamame is a huge time saver. I always use the frozen and I don’t blanch it.