If you like zucchini, are in possession of too much zucchini, don’t know what to cook tonight, or all of the above, go make this. I’ve made it six times in the past month and there’s no stopping me from making it until zucchini season is over. The garlic oil and the ensuing oven sesh condenses the zucchini’s flavours, adding a little caramelised sweetness that contrasts beautifully with the sour saltiness of the lemon juice and feta. This is not so much a recipe but rather more of a suggestion of what ingredients you can throw together. So, feel free to add in more feta and herbs, and maybe even a sprinkling of capers – it all works splendidly.
Roasted Zucchini Salad with Mint, Feta, and Onion
Serves 2 as a main with bread, 4 as a side
About 600g green or yellow zucchini, sliced into 1cm rounds
3 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
One red onion or two shallots, finely diced
One lemon, juiced, plus extra if needed
200g feta, crumbled
One small handful of dried cranberries, chopped
Half a bunch of mint, leaves picked and torn
Salt and pepper (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Add the olive oil, garlic, and salt to a big bowl, give it a quick stir, then add in the zucchini. Make sure everything is nicely coated, then spread out onto a baking sheet-covered baking tray. Make sure the zucchini coins are laid out in a single layer – if things are a little too tight, I suggest you spread everything out onto two pans. If not, it will all take longer to roast, plus the covered zucchini will end up steaming and not caramelizing. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the zucchini has shrunk a little and has become golden in parts. Remove from the oven and let cool while you prepare the remaining ingredients
Combine the red onion with the lemon juice in a bowl and let it sit until ready to use. This will take a bit of the bite away from the onion, while also simultaneously adding a bit of zing to it. Win win.
Once you’re ready, bring out a big plate or platter and spread out the zucchini slices. They can overlap, but don’t stack them up too high – you want each coin to be covered in the toppings.
Spoon over the onion, crumble over the feta, and sprinkle over the cranberries and mint. Drizzle everything with some olive oil and possibly a little more lemon if needed. I rarely need to season this, as there is already enough saltiness coming from the seasoned zucchini and the feta but have a little taste and see how you feel yourself.
Eat on its own, with some crusty bread and butter, or as a side to whatever else you’ve got planned tonight.