The livin’ has been far from easy this summertime, but I can’t complain about its content thus far. After a life-changing trip to both France and Italy (details to come) and attending and singing at two weddings for two couples that we absolutely adore, we finally settled back into our lives in Brooklyn to celebrate our first milestone as a couple: one year of marriage.

We were far too exhausted from our overseas excursions to do anything too epic on our anniversary, so instead decided to take in the gorgeous weather at Prospect Park with a 6-pack mixture of craft beers and sandwiches from Bierkraft, followed by a fancy Park Slope dinner in someone else’s kitchen: Al di La.

Our dinner was perfection. As we chowed down our courses and reflected on the last year of our lives together, we found ourselves obsessed with one of the salads being served. We discussed the textures and flavors and planned a trip to Fairway immediately the next day to restock our refrigerator (after weeks of it being empty) in order to try to replicate the dish. It was time to cook again.

This summer salad is fairly easy to make and far more impressive-looking than reflected in your labor. With blends of zucchini, pecorino, mint, lemon and olive oil, it can be served as a side salad or even a main lunch course. I think all kinds of kitchen growth happened in Europe, because I’m now obsessed with finding restaurant dishes to attempt on my own. Just wait until you see what is coming up in the next few weeks!

Shaved Zucchini and Pecorino Salad

Serves 4

3-4 large zucchini, shaved thin, lengthwise, with a mandolin

¾ cup shaved pecorino cheese, shaved similarly to zucchini with mandolin or vegetable peeler

½ lemon, juiced

Olive oil for drizzling

Salt and Pepper (don’t be shy with that pepper!)

5-6 mint leaves, torn

1 tbsp toasted pine nuts (totally optional!)

Shave your zucchini down until it looks like you have enough for your salad (I used about 3 large zucchini for a side salad for four people.) Squeeze your lemon over the zucchini and drizzle enough oil to lightly coat the zucchini. Add salt and pepper to your liking and dump the pecorino on top, mixing well. To finish, top with mint and toasted pine nuts.

Bon appetit!

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