Zucchini, Walnut and Parmesan Salad

"Very simple, created out of being bored with cooked, fried or baked zucchini!! The little extras like the walnut oil really makes a difference to the bland zucchini, but you can use another nut such as hazels and hazelnut oil, or use sesame oil. Do use enough cheese, even if it's cheddar: the cheese taste should come through strongly. Use a good home-made or shop-bough vinaigrette, not a creamy dressing. A ridged pan would be best, especially if you "burn" pretty black marks across the zucchini slices, but my old iron ridged pan was discovered to be rusty, so I used an ordinary pan."
photo by Zurie photo by Zurie
photo by Zurie
Ready In:


  • 14 ounces zucchini, small ones (400 g baby marrows or courgettes)
  • 34 cup walnuts (180 ml, approximately, use less if you like)
  • 4 tablespoons butter (or use 4 tblsp olive oil)
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (5 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon walnut oil (or hazelnut, sesame or other flavourful nut oil)
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce, Chipotle flavour (optional)
  • flaked sea salt (such as Maldon)
  • 1 cup salad leaves (very roughly, use as much or as little as you like)
  • handful arugula leaf (rocket, roquette)
  • fresh basil leaf (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons vinaigrette dressing (not creamy, just enough to make salad glisten)
  • 2 -3 ounces parmesan cheese, shavings (or use mature cheddar, 60 - 80 g)


  • Wash the zucchini and slice on the diagonal.
  • Heat the butter or oil in a pan (use a ridged pan if you have it) and heat on high. Fry the zucchini slices in batches so they lie flat. Do not cook them, just "sear" them on both sides, then remove from pan to a bowl.
  • Add the nuts, turn heat down, and shake them until hot. They burn easily: just heat them well. Add to the zucchini, and let it cool. (I also added the nice browned butter which was left in the pan).
  • Sprinkle over the balsamic vinegar, nut oil and Tabasco Chipotle if using, and toss lightly. Season with flaky sea salt, tossing to mix. This way the zucchini absorbs a little of the extra flavours.
  • Arrange salad leaves of your choice on a large plate.
  • Toss the zucchini-nut mixture with the vinaigrette dressing, and arrange on the salad leaves.
  • Add the Parmesan shavings to the salad, and serve.
  • (If the salad has to stand awhile, cover with plastic wrap. The zucchini will become a little more limp, but the taste will be fine).

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