July 16, 2010

Mexican Zucchini Salad

We had house guests: investors interested in Monte's swashbuckling geology. It was an all-of-a-sudden event, and one, the only one we knew, stayed the night. Our typical first meal for guests is Mexican and usually I'll grill stuffed poblanos (I'll post that recipe another time), but didn't do that this time. Since it was a quick throw-together we repeated our mexican chuck roast and radish salsa meal I recently posted about. I did a rhubarb crisp, already posted too, along with rhubarb-ade, and tea. I also made another favorite guests like - Mexican Zucchini Salad. (Monte told me I better take a picture of his plate - he always makes a great presentation of food!)



I have a cookbook from when we were first married, so thirty-five years old, that this recipe idea came from (idea... since I don't totally follow). When Travis got married, Monte and me catered the rehearsal dinner all the way to Ft Collins from our Evergreen home - a Mexican fiesta! This salad was one of the dishes well received.



MEXICAN ZUCCHINI SALAD
3 medium zucchini

1/2 tsp salt

Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and again in 1/4" slices. In a bowl, salt these with the salt, toss to mix, then spread on several layers of paper towel to sit and drain for 30 minutes. Pat dry before adding to bowl mixture.



Combine in a bowl-

5 Tb vinegar (I like to mix some balsamic, red wine vinegar and maybe brown rice, apple cider, sherry vinegar - the recipe uses all white vinegar - how boring!)

2-3 cloves minced garlic (instead of recipe's 1 - I always do more garlic in recipes)

1/4 tsp dried thyme (use more of garden fresh thyme)

1/2C good tasting olive oil

1 can drained garbanzo beans

1/2C sliced olives

1/2C+ sliced green onions (I always do more green onions and love the green tops)

1 canned chipotle chili in adobo, seeded and minced (I always keep these in a jar, once a can is opened, and when I take out a chili I make sure to shove all the chilis into the adobo for better keeping)

1/2C crumbled queso anejo (which I don't usually have, so I use cows milk feta [we don't like goat feta - fresh goat milk and cheese is good, but something happens to it in the processing and time])



I'll make this a bit ahead 30 minutes to 4 hours, and occasionally stir for the flavors to marinate.



After supper, and a rain sprinkle, we walked around the gardens, enjoying the flowers, texture, and mountain air. I had them all eat a sweet cicely seed pod - an after dinner mint. The plant is behind my tarragon plant - both a type of licorice/anise flavor. Sweet Cicely is very ferny and mine has been reseeding (I think last year's moist summer did it) so I moved them about the garden this spring.



An artist friend, Sarah, and me made my Sculpy Dough herb labels last year. They are weathering just fine - I didn't know how they'd hold up. Garden twine holds them to bamboo poles.

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