Thursday, June 25, 2009

Zucchini Pappardelle with Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette, Arugula and Feta Cheese

This is a follow up to last weeks Skirt Steak "Saltimbocca". You didn't think I would forget, did you?

This salad side dish almost stole the show from the steak. Yes, it was really that good. Again this isn't a quick fix side but it's totally worth the effort. The dressing alone is amazing. I'm hoping The Other Williams will whip up some more of this so I can keep some around to add to our other salads. The key here is the texture of the zucchini. We have a mandolin but if you don't just try to cut them evenly. Also the sweetness of the roasted cherry tomatoes was killer in this room temp salad.

We didn't use only arugula but we could see how it fit after we started eating it. Instead we added some mixed greens as a supplement and to offset the bitterness of the arugula. Next time we will do more arugula and less mixed greens.

Everything in the salad was good and the combination of flavors was outstanding. I could seriously sit down to a meal of just this salad and be satisfied.

Servings: 6

* 2 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar
* 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
* 1/2 teaspoon honey
* Big pinch gray salt
* 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
* Freshly ground black pepper
* 4 1/2 pounds zucchini
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 teaspoons thyme, minced
* 1 teaspoon rosemary, minced
* 1 teaspoon sweet smoked Spanish paprika
* Cherry tomatoes (20 large or 40 small)
* 2 bunches arugula
* 1/2 cup crumbled feta, preferably French (about 3 ounces)
* 1/2 cup pitted and chopped kalamata olives (about 3 ounces)

Preheat the broiler.

To make the dressing, in a small bowl mix the vinegar, mustard, honey, and salt. Whisk in 3 tablespoons olive oil. Season with the zest and pepper.

Using a mandolin, slice the zucchini lengthwise into 1/8-inch thick pappardelle turning the zucchini and slicing on 4 sides only until the seeds in the center are reached. Discard the centers.

In a small bowl combine the garlic, thyme, rosemary, and paprika with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Spread the zucchini slices on a large baking sheet and brush them with the garlic mixture. Broil for 3 minutes until light brown.

Coat the cherry tomatoes with the remaining garlic mixture in a bowl. Put them on another baking sheet and broil for 1 to 2 minutes or until some skins pop and the tomatoes get slightly caramelized.

Put the arugula in a serving bowl and top with the zucchini and tomatoes. Drizzle with the dressing. Sprinkle the feta and olives on top and serve.

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