Summer is almost officially here, and soon the gardens will be brimming with fresh zucchini (a word that I always misspell!). Here’s an incredibly easy recipe for a quick summer salad from French-speaking Switzerland to help use it up! For this salad, I’m using a Swiss blue cheese called Bleuchâtel. If you can’t get this, another blue cheese will certainly work too.
It’s fairly obvious, but the name, Bleuchâtel, is derived from the place where this Swiss cheese is made (the canton of Neuchâtel) and it’s type (a blue cheese). Fromage Bleuchâtel is recognized as a produit du terroir (a local product), and it seems to be one of the few blue cheeses produced in Switzerland. Only one producer in Switzerland makes this cheese, and this fromagerie is located in Les Ponts-de-Martel. I’m sure people might argue that blue cheese from France is better, but I also like Bleuchâtel. It’s a blue cheese with a mild flavor, so hopefully my kids will eventually learn to enjoy eating it!
Zucchini Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts and Blue Cheese
Adapted from Les recettes des Grand-Mère, Tome 5 (2011).
Contains: milk, hazelnuts
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon toasted hazelnut oil (or walnut oil)
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 small zucchinis
50 grams (about a 1/2 cup) whole hazelnuts
50 grams (about a 1/2 cup) Bleuchâtel cheese (or another blue cheese), crumbled or in small slices/pieces
1 handful of fresh chives, finely chopped
1. Roughly chop the hazelnuts and toast them in a pan over a hot burner, stirring them often so they don’t burn. When they are lightly toasted and fragrant, take them off the heat. Set aside and let them cool.
2. Whisk together the first three ingredients to make the dressing for the salad. Set aside.
3. If you have one, use a mandoline to slice the zucchinis into very thin rounds (a knife will work too, it just takes more time, and the slices are less uniform—at least when I do it!).
4. In a large bowl, toss the sliced zucchini with the salad dressing. You’re finished when the zucchini is evenly coated with the dressing.
5. Spread the dressed zucchini on a platter. On top, add the hazelnuts and the blue cheese, so they’re evenly dispersed. Finally, sprinkle the finely chopped chives over the entire salad. Serve immediately.
I’m going to Geneva tonight for a beer and cheese event! Maybe I’ll see you there? Have a great weekend, everyone!