A Festive Salad of Zucchini, Asparagus & Hazelnut
Amazing textures abound in this salad! Crunchy (nuts), creamy (feta), crisp (asparagus) and chewy (berries). Textures that complement the festive reds and greens of Christmas, and of course the Christmas turkey.
For the salad:
10 asparagus spears, cut in half on the diagonal
1/4 cup feta, crumbled
1/4 cup hazelnuts, roasted, halved
1 tablespoon goji berries
For the dressing:
Drizzle extra virgin olive oil
Squeeze fresh lemon juice
Celtic sea salt and cracked black pepper to season
Use a vegetable peeler to julienne the zucchini into ribbon-like lengths. Be careful not to slice too thin or the zucchini ribbons will break and fall apart. Preheat a griddle frying pan over high heat and grease with olive oil. Once the pan is very hot, lay the zucchini strips. The idea is to create horizontal charred blackened lines.
Bring a medium saucepan of water to a rapid boil. Fill medium bowl with icy cold water. Blanch the asparagus by submerging the asparagus spears in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes (until they are tender and very green). Drain the boiling water and transfer the asparagus spears immediately to the cold water. Doing so ensures the asparagus retains a vibrant green colour free from brown discolouration. Allow to cool in the water for 5 minutes before draining.
Arrange the zucchini and asparagus as artistically as you like on a serving tray. Crumble the feta, and sprinkle the hazelnuts and goji berries over the greens.
Drizzle with good quality extra virgin olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and season with salt and pepper. The dressing is so easy, and the zucchini will lend a moistness already so you won't need to add much in the way of oil.
A decadently fresh accompaniment to the Christmas Turkey (pictured below), the recipe for which can be found here. Happy Christmas to you.