The last couple of times I’ve been to Rome I’ve had a wonderful salad made of a bitter green I’ve only seen there called puntarelle. You can see photos of it on my Favorite Rome Markets post. Typically this green is trimmed, pushed through a wire slicer, and then plunged into cold water so the leaves curl and crisp up. It’s then dressed with lemon juice and anchovies. Simple yet fantastic, like most food in Rome.
Here at home, I don’t have puntarelle, but I do have a surplus of zucchini and yellow squash in my garden (yes, already) and I’m always trying to figure out new things to try with it. I thought it would pair well with this dressing and liven up an otherwise sometimes bland vegetable. I’ve added the arugula to give it a slightly bitter, peppery kick like the puntarelle. This salad is light and fresh, and a wonderful way to use that early summer zucchini.
Zucchini and Arugula Salad with Lemon-Anchovy Dressing
Printable Recipe in PDF
1 garlic clove
3 oil cured anchovies
1 oz lemon juice
1.5 oz Fonterutoli extra virgin olive oil*
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
8 oz green zucchini (whole)
8 oz yellow zucchini (or yellow crookneck squash) (whole)
2.5 oz arugula
Serves 4 as a starter salad
Crush the garlic in a mortar and pestle*. Add the anchovies and crush them too. Add the lemon juice and combine with the garlic and anchovies and then add the olive oil, stirring it all together to emulsify the dressing.
*If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, put the garlic through a garlic press or crush with the side of your knife and then finely mince. Finely chop the anchovies. Put the anchovies and garlic in a small bowl, add the lemon juice and whisk in the olive oil.
If you have a mandoline slicer, (I particularly like the Benriner Japanese Mandoline Slicer), now is the time to use it. Wash and dry the zucchini and cut off the ends. If the zucchini is less than 7″ or 8″ leave it whole, otherwise cut it in half, making two shorter pieces.
Using the medium tooth slicer for the mandoline, cut julienned strips of zucchini, down to the center portion where the seeds are. Discard the centers or use for something else. When you are done with both squash, you should have approximately 3 cups of julienned zucchini. If you don’t have a mandoline, cut the zucchini into very thin strips and then julienne (matchstick) slices.
In a large bowl, toss together the julienned green and yellow zucchini and the arugula. Whisk the dressing if it has separated and then dress the salad with all of it. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
*The olive oil I used is from a company called olio2go.com. It’s their Fonterutoli olive oil imported from Mazzei in the Chianti region of Italy which they generously sent me to sample. This olive oil had an almost peppery flavor which nicely balanced the salt of the anchovies and the acid of the lemon juice.
I’m tagging this recipe as vegetarian because if you want to, you can leave the anchovies out of the dressing (but I really don’t recommend it).
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