In the winter the quality of vegetables can be less than those wonderful organic local vegetables you buy at the Farm Markets during the summer. Local root vegetables are available year round but every once in a while you need the fresh light taste of summer.
It is at this time many of you have resolved to lose a few pounds and you head to the vegetables to do this. It helps to buy organic and tomatoes need to be kept on the counter for a few days to fully ripen before using. Often the Roma tomatoes will be a better winter choice but use what you like.
This tomato zucchini salad uses vegetables that are lightly caramelized. This ups the flavor profile. It is a favorite of mine when I am in the mood for a light supper.
This recipe will serve 4 as an appetizer.
2 large zucchini
1/4 lb Bulgarian Feta (If you can't get the fresh Bulgarian style any will do.)
A drizzle of good balsamic*
A drizzle of good olive oil**
Thinly slice the round ends off of the tomatoes (use them in soup) and cut in halves or thirds depening on the size.
Wash and thickly slice the zucchini.
Brush two pans (cast iron or nonstick) with oil. Using one for each vegetable make the pans hot and sear the cut ends of the vegetables. Arrange on plates and while warm sprinkle lightly with salt and crumble a little feta over each one.
Give a light drizzle of olive oil and do the same with the balsamic.
* Most balsamic vinegar sold these days is fake. Read the label, if it includes wine vinegar and caramel color it is not legit. Not a single balsamic sold at Trader Joe's is legit. It will separate and spoil and does not taste the same.
**As the New York Times reported (of 73 olive oils ... in the U.S. Only 4 per cent were pure olive oil. The rest were adulterated" - New York Times) many if not most of the cheap olive oils, even the extra virgin were actually Canola oil and some color or a blend. Good Olive oil is not cheap and it should have a strong taste, often peppery.