We’re in the thick of farmer’s market season and I love coming up with new dishes to highlight all that summer produce has to offer - because while grilled vegetables are delicious, they can get a tad monotonous come August.
Zucchini especially is usually given a bad wrap and often overlooked in my opinion. BUT, it’s loaded with fiber, has a high water content which keeps you full, the neutral flavor means you can use almost any spice (sweet or savory), and it's high in nutrients such as vitamin C and potassium.
When choosing zucchini or any summer squash, always look for the smaller, thinner ones at the market. They'll have less seeds and tend to be sweeter.
Grilled zucchini is classic, but I also love it raw - like in this simple, no cook salad. And, if you end up with a bumper crop from your CSA, try chopping and then freezing the squash for adding to smoothies. It's a great way to replace frozen fruit for a low sugar option that's still creamy and chilled.
What are some of your favorite ways to use zucchini? Comment below!
Zucchini Millet Salad with Lemon Caper Dressing
Serves 4 as a side dish
1/2 cup millet
3 small, thin zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices
Up to 2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
Zest + juice from 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 Tbs. capers
1 cup basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
Fine sea salt + black pepper, to taste
For the millet: Bring 1 cup of filtered water to boil in a small sauce pan with lid. Stir in millet plus a good pinch of salt and return to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover, cooking 15-20 minutes or until all of the water has been absorbed. Turn off heat and let sit, covered, for another 5-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
For the zucchini: heat a large sauté pan to medium-high (nonstick is best) and add a drizzle of olive oil. Distribute zucchini slices evenly across surface, do not crowd the pan, and cook on each side for 1-2 minutes until golden brown but not mushy. Season with salt and transfer to a plate while you cook the remaining slices - adding more oil as needed. This usually takes me 3-4 batches. (You could also grill the zucchini - tossing in olive oil, salt, and pepper and then grilling for 2-3 minutes per side.)
In a large bowl, toss together millet, cooked zucchini (discard any liquid that may have accumulated after cooking), 1 tablespoon olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon zest + juice, and capers. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving, add in basil + parsley.
This dish is best served the same day it’s made, but leftovers will keep for another 1-2 days in the fridge.
Notes: If you do dairy, try adding a sprinkling of salty sheep’s milk feta or ricotta salata over the top.