Veggies on the counter

Zucchini and Potato Salad

Posted in salads, side dishes by veggies on the counter on July 17, 2010

More than two weeks ago, I ordered some new cookbooks. In the past couple of days, I’ve been getting anxious at around 11 a.m, the hour at which the over-sized shipments are delivered by hand on my neighborhood. It happens that mine haven’t arrived yet, so now I started considering the hypothesis that they might have got lost on their way from the UK to Portugal. It already happened a few times with other items I’ve purchased, and it’s kind of annoying. But, anyway, as I don’t have yet the new cookbooks, I’ve turned to the “old” ones I’ve got at home and have been exploring them intensely. And if there’s one cookbook that I’ve been really cooking a lot from, that is Bryant Terry’s Vegan Soul Kitchen . When I first got it, I was slightly disappointed by its layout. I thought the design of the book was not particularly appealing, which was a pitty, because it didn’t let Bryant’s recipes shine as they deserved. But despite its design, Vegan Soul Kitchen is by far one of my favorite cookbooks. It’s filled with unique, vibrant recipes, from cover to cover, and I love the fact that Bryant gives both film and music recommendation for each recipe on the book. It’s actually a pretty cool thing because of two particular reasons: firstly, I get to know a lot of music and film through a cookbook, which is something untypicial and original for a cookbook; and secondly, because it gives me some insights on Bryant’s creative process, which I admire because of its interdisciplinarity (by taking inspiration from art and music to create and develop his own recipes).

There was this Crispy Green Beans Salad on the book that I wanted to try. But here in Portugal we’re not in green beans season right now, so I decided to adapt the recipe to what I have bought on the market this morning. And thus a whole new recipe was born - the Zucchini and Potato Salad. In here, I grilled the zucchini until it got good grilling marks, and boiled the potatoes with their skins on until they were soft and tender; tossed everything in a large bowl with some roasted shallots and a garlicky mustard dressing, and served with sprigs of fresh lemon thyme and toasted walnuts. Instead of boiling the potatoes as I did, I think you could also cut them in small cubes and pan fry them until gold and crisp, and then proceed with the following steps.


(serves 4, as a side)

335 grams small potatoes (about 15 potatoes)

400 grams zucchini (2 small ones)

4 large shallots

olive oil


1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/4 plus 1 tablespoon toasted walnuts

for the mustard vinaigrette:

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons dijon mustard

3 teaspoons agave nectar

2 large garlic cloves

1 tablespoon lemon thyme

1. Preheat the oven to 180ÂşC.

2. I used very small potatoes in here, not that much bigger than the size of a grape, so if yours aren’t that small, cut them in halves and do not remove the skins. Bring about 2 liters of water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the potatoes. Let them cook for 20 minutes. Drain them in a colander and pass them through cold water to stop cooking. Set aside.

3. Trim the ends of the zucchini and cut them into 1 centimeter thick rounds. With a pastry brush, brush each round with olive oil and add about 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt (to all the rounds, not to each one individually). Heat a grill on maxium heat, add the zucchini rounds, and cook them for about 3 minutes on each side. Remove from heat, let them cool, and set aside.

4. In a medium-size bowl, toss 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar. Rub this mixture in the shallots (with their skins on). Place the shallots in a baking dish lined with parchment paper, and roast them in the preheated oven for about 1 hour or until they are charred. Let them cool, transfer to a cutting board, and take off theirs skins. Now, cut them into 2 centimeter thick pieces.

5. In a blender, combine all the ingredients for the vinaigrette except the olive oil. While the blender is running, slowly pour the olive oil.

6. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, zucchini and shallots. Add about half of the vinaigrette and toss well.

7. Transfer all the ingredients to a big platter, add some fresh lemon thyme sprigs and, right before serving, drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette.

recipe inspired by Vegan Soul Kitchen, by Bryant Terry, published by Da Capo Press

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