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Hazelnut Courgette Salad

May 2, 2018


1/3 cup (80 ml) toasted and peeled hazelnuts, chopped coarsely (see note)

8 small courgettes, mixed colors if desired (about 1 3/4 lb./800 g)

2 tbsp (20 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp (5 ml) top quality balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup (125 ml) fresh basil leaves (a mix of green and purple basil makes the salad especially pretty)

1/4 (60 ml) shaved parmigiano-reggiano cheese

1 tbsp (15 ml) hazelnut oil, or extra-virgin olive oil



Preheat the barbecue at high heat, or place a grill pan over high heat and leave it there until it’s super-hot, about 5 minutes.


Meanwhile, trim the ends of the courgettes and cut them on an angle into 1/4-inch-thick (0.6-cm) slices. Place them in a large mixing bowl and toss with half the olive oil, 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) sea salt flakes, and some black pepper.


Transfer the slices to the barbecue or grill pan and char-grill for 1 to 2 minutes on each side; turn them over using kitchen tongs and grill the flip side for 1 minute more. If some slices are smaller than the others, keep a close eye on them and make sure to turn and remove them from the heat before the larger slices. You want to get distinct char marks without cooking the zucchini through. 


Transfer the grilled courgettes back to the mixing bowl, pour over the balsamic vinegar, toss together and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.


Toss the courgettes with the basil leaves, parmigiano-reggiano cheese, and hazelnut (or extra-virgin olive) oil. Toss gently. Transfer to a serving plate, sprinkle with additional sea salt flakes and black pepper, and serve immediately.


If you have any recipe ideas, send them to me with a photo to

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