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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Zucchini and caraway salad, with parsley and lemon cream salad

Oh - all bragging (mostly) aside - this was a (probably accidental) stroke of genius. Caraway and zucchini are a classic great match, but no one could have been prepared for the match-made-in heaven between the sweetness, fried-baked taste and warmth of the left salad and the tangy fresh crunchy sour taste of the salad on the right. And by crunchy we mean a different sort of crunchy (like fresh leaves crunchy), because the caraway seeds in the zucchini have their own planet of roasted oriental tasting crunchiness. Not to mention one being warm and the other cool. To keep the bragging short, this appetizer dish goes together like love and marriage, the horse and carriage etc etc. To get not only to food heaven, but to food nirvana, don't mix them, but serve a mouthful of each alternatively. Literally. That way each will definitely spring up the other's taste.

You can serve them directly like this, or use them as spreads on little pieces of grilled bread, tortillas or focaccia. Either way - delicious. And ridiculously easy and fast to make.

Ingredients (serves 2 as appetizer or 1 as a brunch):
  • 1 small zucchini (about 150-200 g)
  •  1 spoon of olive oil
  • salt (don't season with pepper, it will mask some of the flavors)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 handful of fresh parsley (100 g)
  • 2 tablespoons of cream or yogurt with a thick consistency (essential property for a good coating of leaves without flatting them; we used cream)
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of caraway fruits (also wrongly called seeds, but it's a common misconception) 

First, clean your zucchini and set it on your working surface:

Cut off its ends and discard them. Chop it into very thin slices, as thin as you can cut them:

Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan (lowest heat intensity possible) and add the zucchini slices to it. Don't fret about spreading them through the pan, it doesn't matter if they directly touch the pan's surface or not. Anyway, the purpose is not to fry but to soften and it will only take 3-4 minutes.

While the zucchini slices soften, mince the garlic and parsley (and maybe set aside a few parsley leaves for decorating):

Add most of the garlic, a sprinkle of salt and the caraway to the pan and stir:

Leave for one more minute, then turn off the heat. In the meanwhile, Put the lemon juice in a small bowl:

Add the cream, remaining raw garlic and a sprinkle of salt and mix well:

Then, add the chopped parsley and mix until the lemon cream coats all the leaf bits. Put the zucchini and caraway salad from the pan into another bowl. Serve immediately to benefit from the warm-cool effect, or later after storing the salads at room temperature. Dig in! :)

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