Prep Time:15 minutes
I used to eat this spectacular raw vegetable salad as a first course at Jackson Fillmore restaurant in San Francisco and it’s a summer standard in Italy. You can vary it in many ways: pine nuts can be substituted for almonds, or parmesan for pecorino, or you can grate the cheese rather than shaving it. You can even grate the zucchini rather than slicing it then toss it with the other ingredients like a salad. The longer this sits at room temp, the better it tastes, too.
1/2 cup sliced almonds
6 medium zucchini (about 1-1/4 lb)
1 juicy lemon
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (lemon thyme, if possible)
sea salt or kosher salt
2-ounce chunk pecorino romano cheese
freshly ground black pepper
Spread almonds in a pie plate and toast in a 350°F oven until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Or swirl almonds in a small frying pan over medium heat until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Pour nuts onto a plate and set aside.
Using a mandolin, very thinly slice zucchini. Squeeze lemon juice into a small bowl and whisk in the olive oil, thyme leaves and salt to taste. Layer zucchini on a serving platter in a nice pattern, drizzling some dressing over each layer as you fill the platter. Sprinkle the top with the toasted almonds and pepper, then shave the cheese with a cheese slicer or vegetable peeler over all. Serve or let sit at room temperature up to 2 hours.