Melting in the heat is not how we want to spend our summer, right? And melting in the heat over a hot stove, even less so. I'm no fan of these hot and humid summers unless there's a pool and a swim up bar ;). I know I am one of few, many people love the heat, my husband included, so we have an ongoing air conditioning war. He’s also working from home everyday, so I‘ve had to become a much more sneaky with the thermostat!
But at least I'm not standing over a hot stove to conjure up this refreshing and cooling salad! No cooking, minimal assembling, and 'maximo' in the taste department.
This is adapted from a Molly Baz recipe, which involved grilling the zucchini. That version is also delicious and can be found over on the Bon Apetit website. But this version is also really good, involves less cooking, and therefore less clean up, and less getting hot! Win, win, win, win!
Ingredients for 2 servings
2 medium zucchini, summer squash
1 bunch of fresh mint
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, finely grated
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
¾ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup (60g) fresh, whole milk, ricotta
½ cup (75g) fresh garden peas
Flaky sea salt
Toasted country-style bread (for serving)
small handful hazelnuts, toasted and roughly crushed
Use a vegetable peeler to peel the zucchini lengthways into strips or zucchini ribbons.
Smack 3 mint sprigs against your cutting board a few times to release their flavor. Add them to a bowl with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic, vinegar, sugar, and red pepper flakes.
Toss the ribbons in a few tablespoons of dressing and set aside for 15 minutes. This can be done a few hours ahead.
Meanwhile, zest the lemon half into a small bowl (keep the lemon for later!), combine with the ricotta and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Season with a little salt.
Drape the zucchini ribbons across the platter haphazardly. Nestle dollops of ricotta amongst the ribbons and sprinkle over the peas. Squeeze the reserved lemon half over the platter. Pull leaves from remaining mint sprigs, tear and scatter them over the zucchini and add the hazelnuts. Drizzle generously with with the remaining dressing and sprinkle with flaky sea salt.