Recipe demonstration begins at 32:18.
Neither my students nor I ever tire of this salad. It has all the qualities one looks for in a dish: crunch, smoothness, color, aroma. Serve with Crispy Flatbread (page 260 of Salad as a Meal), Tortilla Crisps (page 263 of Salad as a Meal) or toasted bread for added crunch. Don’t omit the fresh thyme here, for it plays an essential role in the color and aroma.
A small jar with a lid; a mandoline or a very sharp knife.
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon Lemon Zest Salt
3 tablespoons best-quality pistachio oil (such as Leblanc) or extra-virgin olive oil
4 small, fresh zucchini (about 4 ounces; 115 g each) trimmed at both ends
1 large, ripe avocado
1/2 cup salted pistachios
4 fresh lemon thyme sprigs, with flowers if possible
Fleur de sel
1. In the jar, combine the lemon juice and flavored salt. Cover with the lid and shake to blend. Add the oil, and shake to blend.
2. With a mandoline or sharp knife, slice the zucchini lengthwise as thin as possible. Arrange the slices on a platter, and pour the dressing over them. Tilt the platter back and forth to coat the slices evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes, so the zucchini absorbs the dressing and does not dry out.
3. Halve, pit, and peel the avocado, and cut it lengthwise into very thin slices. Carefully arrange the slices of marinated zucchini on individual salad plates, alternating with the avocado slices, slightly overlapping them. Sprinkle with the pistachio nuts. Garnish with the thyme sprigs and flowers and fleur de sel. Serve.
Favorite wine partners for avocado include a young Pinot Grigio, a crisp-style Chardonnay, and a fragrant, well-chilled Sauvignon Blanc.
This recipe was first published in Salad as a Meal.
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