I am taking you to Il Frantoio in Puglia again to show you another of the wonderful dishes we ate there. I bought some freshly picked zucchini at the markets this morning and they made me think of Puglia. The food obviously made a big impression on us and I am often tempted to try to create some of the delicious things we tried.
You will need 2 or 3 zucchini, fresh blanched almonds, parmesan cheese, olive oil, lemon or lime juice, flat leaf parsley, salt and pepper. Finely slice the zucchini lengthways with a mandolin slicer or a vegetable peeler – being careful not to slice your finger, as I did.
Carefully cut the almonds in half. Finely slice the parmesan cheese. I am reluctant to use the word shave here, as in my mind I see cheese with whiskers – not something I really want to see.
Pour the lemon juice and olive oil over the zucchini and mix carefully. Don’t attempt vast quantities of zucchini as they will become hard to handle and the zucchini will break and bruise.
Arrange ingredients on a plate and tuck in. The dish is best made as close as possible to eating. It would make a great primo piatto – entree, contorno – side dish, or on its own with fresh bread for lunch.
I find the name curious. In Italian zucca means pumpkin, which makes zucchini – little pumpkins. They are also called courgette. Whatever they are called, they are a very versatile vegetable.