Mediterranean Zoodle Salad

mediterranean zoodle salad It’s zoodle time again, zucchini noodles that is, but this time I placed them into a cold salad with a nice Mediterranean flare. It’s light, fresh and healthy and you can eat this all summer long. It can be the perfect side dish to whatever you’re grilling, a refreshing light lunch or you can even pack it up for a picnic.

mediterranean zoodle salad I’m telling you, the flavors, the pretty colors and all the curly zucchini strands is a thing of beauty, no one will resist this salad!

mediterranean zoodle salad May I suggest one thing, don’t put this in a bowl, you’ll bury all the ingredients and you won’t be able to see all the pretty curly zoodles. By layering everything onto a nice platter you’ll be able to see all the components which is so much more appealing to the eyes.

mediterranean zoodle salad The other thing I’m going to suggest, ( I’m being bossy today) go out and buy some white balsamic vinegar, not white wine vinegar, white balsamic. I’m obsessed with it, find a good Italian brand and pair it with your best olive oil and use that as your salad dressing, it will take your salads over the top, trust me!

Of course red balsamic is amazing and has it’s place for many salads but for a light and intensely flavored, especially a summer salad like this, get the white.

mediterranean zoodle salad

I’m just going to list the ingredients I used below, not the amounts, it depends how much you’re making, how much zucchini noodles you have. I like to mix one yellow squash along with the green zucchini for added color. Use quality ingredients, good olives, good feta, it truly makes a difference, and don’t forget the white balsamic please!

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5.0 from 3 reviews
Mediterranean Zoodle Salad
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • A mix of yellow squash and zucchini zoodles, AKA Zucchini noodles
  • mini colored peppers, cut into rings, (the mini's are the perfect size)
  • garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • Persian cucumbers, if you can find them, they're small, cut into small rounds. If you can't find them remove the seeds of a regular one and cut into half moons.
  • multi colored cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • assorted pitted olives, green and black
  • red onion, cut into thin half moons
  • assorted greens, I used arugula, spinach and a little radicchio
  • a few green onions sliced
  • artichoke hearts, marinated in a jar and drained well
  • feta cheese
  • feel free to add some pine nuts if you like
  • DRESSING:
  • white balsamic and olive oil
Instructions
  1. Place everything into a large bowl, add the greens last, sprinkle salad with a little oregano, salt and pepper and a little bit of granulated garlic if you have it.
  2. Toss with the white balsamic and olive oil dressing then place everything onto a flat platter for presentation.
  3. DRESSING RATIO
  4. part vinegar to 2 parts olive oil

 

Signature

Springtime Risotto

springtime risotto I know spring is here when I see tender asparagus, early peas and my beloved baby artichokes popping up in the produce aisles. Baby artichokes are so easy to prepare and with a little trimming  you’re able to eat the whole thing, there’s no comparison to the taste and texture of fresh verses frozen, jarred or canned, none at all!

spring time risotto One way I love to showcase them is with risotto, the creamy rice along with the tender veggies are just the perfect combination!

spring risotto ingredients With minimal prep work you can get this on your table in no time and what a treat it is, a one pan wonder in deed. Don’t be intimidated when making risotto it just needs a little nurturing  and constant stirring but you can’t beat the end result!

spring time risotto This meal will make you, your family and your guests very happy!

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5.0 from 2 reviews
Springtime Risotto
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 4 fresh BABY artichokes, trimmed and kept whole
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced into rounds
  • 1 lb. of fresh asparagus, tender and thin, trimmed and cut into thirds or fourths
  • 1 heaping cup of fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 small leek, cleaned and sliced
  • 1½ cups of arborio rice
  • 1 quart of chicken or vegetable stock, warmed and simmering on the stove
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 cup of parmesan cheese, finely shredded
  • handful of parsley
  • 1 tablespoon, butter
  • 2 or so tablespoons of olive oil
Instructions
  1. Prep veggies ahead of time, for the Baby Artichokes: Snap off the outer leaves until you reach the tender pale yellow green layers, then with a serrated knife trim the tip and stems. You can steam or boil, they take about 15 minutes, I usually boil placing them whole into the water with some lemon slices and a drizzle of olive oil. When finished, let them cool then place them tip side down and cut in half, you now will have 8 artichoke halves.
  2. For the Asparagus, roast on sheet pan at 400, don't let them get brown, it only takes a couple of minutes.
  3. For the Zucchini Rounds, saute in olive oil, medium high heat on top of stove until golden, just a couple of minutes it takes.
  4. Cook Peas accordingly.
  5. FOR THE RISOTTO:
  6. Have broth simmering on low heat in separate pan.
  7. In a heavy bottom pan heat olive oil and butter on medium heat, when melted add in the leeks, cooking until soft.
  8. Add in rice, stirring for a few minutes until well coated and hot.
  9. Deglaze with wine, let it cook down for a few seconds.
  10. Add in a ladle full of broth, stirring until it all absorbs.
  11. Continue adding in broth, same way, stirring it and letting it all absorb.
  12. You'll know when it's done because rice mixture will become creamy and tender with just a little bite, you don't want your rice to taste mushy.
  13. Pull off the heat, add in the cheese and stir until incorporated, add a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and gently fold in all the veggies.
  14. Garnish with parsley.

 

 

Signature

Spring Salad with Asparagus, Goat Cheese, lemon and Hazelnuts

spring salad with asparagus and goat cheese

I’ve been taking full advantage of asparagus season, my fridge is constantly stocked with those tender thin stalks. Besides just roasting them, which is a given, I’ve been putting them into frittatas, risottos, pasta dishes, tarts and a ton of salads.

In this salad today the asparagus is really the star. You give them a really quick roast to get them out of the raw state, slice them in half lengthwise, then gently toss into a hunk of honey infused goat cheese which has been loosened up a bit with a fresh lemon and olive oil dressing. Honestly, you could stop right there it’s that good!

But continue on please because we’re making a salad today.

spring salad ingredients

For the other ingredients you’ll want to build your salad around what’s in season, and being that its spring here I used a mixture of red leaf lettuce and a little arugula for spiciness, crispy radishes, fresh peas and fava beans, I added in some raw zucchini ribbons because I love the look and taste it gives to a salad, plus crunchy toasted hazelnuts.

spring salad with asparagus and goat cheese

Layer everything together rustic style onto a nice big platter and spoon more of the lemon and olive oil dressing all over.

spring salad with asparagus and goat cheese

For a special finish to this salad add generous shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano, it’s a must!

4.7 from 3 reviews
Spring Salad with Asparagus, Goat Cheese, lemon and Hazelnuts
 
A beautiful fresh salad that celebrates Spring!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of asparagus,on the thin side but thick enough to cut in half lengthwise.
  • 1 cup fresh peas, or frozen and defrosted
  • ½ cup of cooked and prepped fava beans, you could use frozen defrosted lima beans
  • 5 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium raw zucchini made into ribbons with a vegetable peeler, (no seeds)
  • ½ bunch of red leaf lettuce chopped bite size and a generous handful of arugula mixed together or combination of salad greens of your choice
  • 4 oz. of chevre goat cheese, I used the one with honey
  • the zest of one lemon, you can cut up a few slices for garnish after
  • ½ cup of toasted hazelnuts, slightly cracked open
  • shaved Parmigiano Reggiano for top of salad
  • extra lemons for dressing
  • olive oil
Instructions
  1. Roast your asparagus on a sheet pan drizzled with olive oil for maybe 5 or 10 minutes on 375 just until the raw taste is gone, you don't want limp asparagus they should still have a good bite to them, so keep checking. Cool them off and them slice them lengthwise.
  2. Make a lemon and olive oil dressing using 2 parts fresh lemon juice to 4 parts olive oil.
  3. In a bowl mash up your goat cheese and loosen it up with 2 tablespoons of the lemon dressing.
  4. Gently toss and coat sliced asparagus into the mixture, adding salt and pepper to taste.
  5. On a large platter assemble the greens, peas, fava beans, radishes, zucchini ribbons all over ending with the goat cheese coated asparagus on top.
  6. Sprinkle the toasted nuts all around.
  7. Spoon lemon dressing all around, as much as you think you need.
  8. Add shavings of Parmiggiano Reggiano on top.
  9. Garnish with a few lemon slices.

 

Signature