I’m a fan of making zucchini noodles as a healthy substitute for pasta, but it was time to branch out and try a new dish. Zucchini is actually a fruit, with its beautiful yellow blossoms that are edible. Usually eaten as a vegetable, zucchini is high in fiber, potassium and vitamin C. The peak season for zucchini is June through late August.
The most delightful part of this salad is the pomegranate molasses, a thick tart syrup that’s drizzled on the grilled zucchini. Pomegranate molasses is a syrup traditionally used in Middle Eastern cooking, and can be used in a variety of dishes. It is easy to make your own with sugar, lemon and pomegranate juice. I used the bottled Al Wadi brand of pomegranate molasses, which is available at most specialty markets.
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- 2 pounds medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese (optional)
- 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
- 2 tablespoons tarragon leaves, chopped
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the slivered almonds evenly on a sheet tray or cookie sheet, in one layer. Toast for 5-7 minutes, checking the nuts after 5 minutes as they burn easily. Toast until lightly browned.
Light the grill or heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Toss the zucchini with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill the zucchini over high heat on the grill or in the grill pan, turning once. Grill until charred on both sides and tender. Transfer to a platter and cut the zucchini into pieces. If using the ricotta cheese, place a few dollops over the zucchini. Sprinkle on the toasted almonds and season with salt and pepper, as needed. Drizzle the zucchini with pomegranate molasses and add the chopped tarragon. Serves 6.
Inspiration: Food and Wine Magazine