We just returned from a great vacation in sunny (and hot) Morocco. The temperatures in Marrakech were north of 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The summer temperatures here in California also are climbing. It’s the kind of weather that makes us hunt for fresh dishes that require zero stove time. This shaved zucchini salad with pumpkin seeds and Parmesan cheese fits that bill. (Click here to see the recipe.) “This recipe is a great summer salad to serve on hot days. The zucchini is raw which gives the salad a delicious crunchy texture,” Dominic Orsini, the winery chef at California’s acclaimed Silver Oak Cellars, says of this dish he created.
Green and yellow zucchini are sliced thin and then tossed in a bowl along with the pumpkin seeds, Parmesan, basil, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Orsini suggests pairing the salad with fish or as a side dish with dinner. (Click here to see the recipe.)
The dish reflects Orsini’s focus on using fresh, local ingredients. “I’m striving to create an indigenous cuisine reflecting where we are. All the vegetables we grow here we serve,” Orsini says of Silver Oak Cellars, which maintains its own garden.
Orsini also is a big user of extra virgin olive oil. He particularly likes our Arbequina. “My butter use has fallen off the map,” Orsini tells us. “I use a lot of olive oil. It’s a healthy cuisine, and I find a meal with vegetables that have been sautéed with olive oil is much lighter.”
Orsini also likes to use our Arbequina when he makes a vinaigrette. Come to think of it, we think it also would work well in his shaved zucchini salad.
Your friends at California Olive Ranch