I came across this recipe in the last Real Simple magazine - my mother-in-law sends them to me. I was intrigued by the raw zucchini shavings made into a salad.
Turns out, the flavor is wonderful and it feels like playing to strip the zucchini down with my vegetable peeler to make the zucchini shavings. I really can't call it "pasta" again - that's just corny. Should we call it Zucchini Surprise, or does that bring up bad casserole memories? I was really surprised at the success of this method! Let's go with a cookbook editor name. . . .
Surprising Zucchini Salad
1-2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/3 cup snipped fresh mint
1/3 cup cooked, diced sausage or bacon or salami or something like that
1/4 cup shaved fresh Parmesan (I use the vegetable peeler again and keep them small)
1 big zucchini
lots of freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup toasted chopped hazelnuts
In a salad bowl, mix oil and vinegar to emulsify. Add some salt and pepper here - more pepper later. Toss in mint, sausage (I used kielbasa diced fine), and Parmesan. Use a vegetable peeler to shave off narrow strips of the zucchini (turn it frequently as you shave) until you get to the seeds. Discard the seedy part to the compost, the chickens, or the vulturish kids. Toss the salad immediately before serving, adding more black pepper, and sprinkling the hazelnuts on top. I'm sorry to say that leftovers get a little weepy and the hazelnuts will get soft.
Now that I know about zucchini shavings, I would like to experiment with other types of pasta-like salads since zucchini has such a neutral flavor. I've even seen cooks putting spaghetti sauce on zucchini "spaghetti."