The foodie bookworms among you are going to be jealous: Jamila and I have the best dinner date structure of all time. The host makes dinner with enough leftovers to send the guest home with a tupperware for the next day’s lunch. The guest brings a bottle of wine and a book. Food & drink, books & conversation? Don’t mind if I do.
Last time Jamila was over, the standout was this grilled zucchini salad. It was a hugely happy find for the following reasons:
- It’s served at room temperature, which makes it a great make-ahead side. It sat on the counter while we fussed at the BBQ.
- It’s inexpensive.
- It’s pretty on the plate.
- It’s full of good-for-you dark green vegetables.
- Leftovers stack perfectly with quinoa for a healthy, hearty next-day lunch.
Notes: While the original recipe called for making the breadcrumbs yourself from stale bread (which my Dad has tried and vouched for), I opted for panko and have no regrets about that shortcut. To make this recipe gluten-free, omit the breadcrumbs and use toasted minced nuts instead.
Grilled Zucchini Salad
slightly adapted from Polpo
1/4 cup panko or other coarse breadcrumbs
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/3 tsp chilli flakes
salt & pepper
three handfuls of spinach or arugula
lemon juice to taste
1. In a small bowl, toss the panko with the garlic, chilli flakes, and a little salt & pepper. Drizzle a olive oil over top and stir to combine. Add a little bit more olive oil and taste; add more salt if desired.
2. Trim the ends off the zucchini and slice the body lengthwise into strips about 4mm thick. Sprinkle each with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Place them on a grill or frying pan, cooking and flipping as necessary until they’re fully cooked. Set aside; let the slices come to room temperature.
3. In a large bowl, toss the spinach or arugula with a bit of salt, lemon juice and olive oil. Arrange the zucchini over top, and sprinkle all with the breadcrumb mixture. Serve at room temperature.