Monday, July 11, 2011

Zucchini & Mushroom Salad in Chili Lime Dressing

Just came back from Europe- was in Amsterdam and Berlin. Amsterdam is a beautiful city with over 100 canals where homes- as old as from the 1600's were built on the canals. Amsterdam was not always a city of canals- it's reclaimed land from the ocean. To keep up with the growing demand of the ever growing population during the Golden Ages, Amsterdam had to build out.

Berlin..... is another story. Trying to encapsulate the feeling of Berlin is a bit difficult. It's not a particularly beautiful city- there is a certain dreary feeling. After WW II, the U.S. flattened most of the city. So what remains are some historical places- in German called PLATZ. The University where Albert Einstein went to college is still a sought after university. All the statues are still intact. Sadly, the largest synagogue in Germany was burnt down, but what does remain is the facade and inside in a museum of what was. Most of the city has been built up and parts of it look like a throw back to the 1950's.

So I came home this past Friday which is after my CSA delivery on Wednesday. When ever I go away, I make sure to arrange for my share to be donated. As I came home to no food from my summer crop, I had to scrape a meal together with the little food I had left in the fridge. The next day, I ran into a friend of mine- Phil who lives in Kings Point and has a large lush property with tennis courts and along the tennis courts he grows zucchini. If you have ever grown zucchini then you know when it comes in- it really come in. The garden gets taken over by these large yellow flowers that look like they have given birth to zucchinis. So Phil generously offered that I come by and do my shopping. That's where this salad comes in....

This summer salad harmonizes sour and spicy flavors into a burst of freshness. The cilantro is aromatic and brightens the mild flavor of zucchini and mushrooms. An ideal and easy dish to prepare when there is a plethora of zucchini popping up in your local market, which is just about to come. Any leftovers can be refrigerated and enjoyed over the course of a day or two. This recipe comes from one of my most favorite vegetarian cookbooks, 15- Minute Vegetarian by Sasann Geiskpf-Hadler and Mindy Toomay.

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

3 zucchinis
8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
½ red onion, finely chopped
¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped

Dressing
¼ cup freshly squeezed limes (3 limes)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt
Ground Pepper to taste

Instructions

1 Slice each zucchini in half lengthwise, then cut the halves crosswise into ½ inch slices.
2 Place a steamer basket into a large saucepan. Fill the pot with enough water so that is just barely reaches the bottom of the steamer basket. Bring to boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, add zucchini and cover. Steam for 5 minutes or until tender crisp.
3 Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, chili powder, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper until emulsified.
4 In a medium bowl, place the mushrooms, zucchini, and onion, and toss. Drizzle the dressing over the vegetables, sprinkle the cilantro and toss to combine.


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