I am slightly obsessed with my favorite vegetable-- asparagus-- and have several variations on side dishes highlighting the star. But sometimes it is good to mix things up, especially when your grocery store is out of asparagus! Tonight I decided to make a side of zucchini tossed with almonds and lemon zest.
For you zucchini lovers, this stand out side dish is really quick to make. The delightful freshness of the zucchini coupled with the crunch of toasted almonds and bright lemon zest makes this simple dish an elegant accompaniment to a meal.
Zucchini with almonds and lemon zest
2 small zucchinis
1/3 cup slices almonds (I've used pine nuts before and it works well)
2 tbsp olive oil
zest of one lemon (avoid the bitter white part)
a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper
optional 1 oz of pecorino romano, thinly shaved (use a vegetable peeler)
Remove stem and cut zucchini into thin strips lengthwise. Slice each strip crosswise into 1/8" pieces, or as thin as you can.
I really, really want a mandoline.
Heat oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Once oil is shimmering, add almonds. Stir, and toast for about 2 minutes.
Add zucchini and lemon zest. Toss to coat well. Don't cook the zucchini for very long, only about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Add a squeeze or two of fresh lemon juice. Toss again. Add pecorino shavings if desired (I did add pecorino but wouldn't miss it). Serve immediately.
Serves 4 as a side.