Are you ready for a confession? Or are you more interested in my favorite way of preparing zucchini: this recipe for my Grilled Zucchini Salad with cumin, lemon and fresh herbs?
How long have we known each other now? I’m not really sure if this blog post is the first you read of me or that you’ve been following me since my first blog post 3 years ago; most probably you’ve met me somewhere along the way. And I really appreciate that you’re sticking with me and my cooking stories.
So much, that I think it’s time that you get to know me a bit better.
It might be strange to hear from a cooking instructor, but … <insert drum roll here> … <dramatic pause> … I never have attended a cooking class myself.
So, there it is.
Does it surprise you?
Okay, I went to culinary school. And that was one big long program full of fun. But it was not your ordinary cooking class.
Somehow I just never gravitated towards signing up for one when I was learning how to cook.
Looking back, I just don’t know why. Why didn’t I sign up and have an evening playing in the kitchen, meeting new people and learning all kinds of tricks and tips from the chef. I know that’s what many people like about cooking classes. Because I teach them!
But this week the impossible happened.
I attended a cooking class!
Phillis Carey, the local Casual Gourmet, is super helpful in cooking up my professional life here in San Diego North County. When we first met, we couldn’t stop talking about how much fun it is to teach cooking classes, so I became very curious how she’s doing it.
I can tell you, she’s great. I attended her ‘An evening in Sicily’ she taught at the Curious Fork and it was a great experience to hear her talk about her recent trip to Sicily. It brought back tons of memories from my trip to the Mediterranean island years ago and she was just as amazed as I was about those meter long zucchinis they grow over there (picture!).
From a teacher’s perspective it was great to realize that she’s on the same page as I am, explaining the same kind of tricks and focusing on similar aspects of the dishes as I would. And as a curious cook, she made me question a few things too, and I will definitely test my ideas soon.
The whole experience made me even more exited about starting to teach at the Curious Fork too. As we speak, I actually need to wrap up this blog post to finish my class descriptions for October, but will tell you all about these coming two classes in my next blog post.
For now, I will leave you with my favorite way of eating zucchini: My Grilled Zucchini Salad with Cumin, Lemons and Fresh Herbs. It might or it might not show up in one of the proposed cooking classes.
My favorite recipe for Grilled Zucchini Salad with Cumin, Lemon and Fresh Herbs
The trick for the best grilled zucchini salad is not to overcook the slices. Heat up your grill to really hot. And just before it reaches that smoking point, you put the zucchini slices on it. Grill the zucchini 2 minutes per side. Yep, that’s short, but with a hot grill, you should get some light grill marks on them. Then, put the grilled zucchini slices back in the marinade to absorb those flavors again.
2-3 cloves garlic
1 T cumin
5-7 branches fresh parsley, thyme and/or chives
Cut the zucchini diagonally in thick slices.
Mix the marinade; grated/minced garlic with cumin, lemon juice and some olive oil. Marinate the zucchini slices in this mixture. In the mean time, finely chop the fresh herbs.
Tip: For this Grilled Zucchini Salad I like to grate my garlic. This way it becomes more of a paste and won’t burn as little chunks of chopped garlic would. Using a garlic press is helpful too.
Drain the zucchini, but save the marinade.
Grill *, make sure it’s hot, the zucchini slices 1-2 minutes per side. Don’t cook them all the way, you don’t want them to get soggy. You want them firm, as they will continue to cook while piled up each others. Pour the marinade over the grilled salad.
* Any grill; either a stove top griddle, your barbecue or wood-pellet grill will do.
Garnish the salad with the chopped fresh herbs and eat still warm, cold or anywhere in between.