I never liked zucchini till recently, but now I adore this light and nutritious vegetable both raw and grilled. This salad is a wonderful combination of light flavors that come together so well.
Fregola is a small Sardinian pasta that looks like grains, and has a wonderful texture and flavor. It is impossible to find in India, so I have substituted pearled couscous, you can also use orzo, the small rice grain shaped pasta.
This is a light and subtle salad that is a blend of wonderful flavors. The creamy and delicate burrata cheese, I so love burrata, pairs well with the pearled couscous that adds wonderful texture. And the salty pecorino cheese (use parmesan cheese if you cannot find pecorino), charred zucchini and wonderful basil add aroma and flavor. This salad is beautifully balanced, light and delicate. I like to serve it as a salad for dinner or as a light meal for lunch.
This recipe is from, Diana Henry, one of my favorite chefs. I have every one of her cookbooks, they are my go to books in my collection for every occasion, from fun salads, like this one, to more elaborate cooking from around the world. Everyone should have all her cookbooks.
For more recipes from this book click here.
Photo credit Nisha Bilgrami
6 large zucchini
Olive oil spray
Salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper
7 oz fregola or pearled couscous
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ball burrata cheese
1 1/2 oz pecorino cheese, sliced into thin slices
A handful basil leaves, sliced
Juice of 1 lime or lemon
Olive oil for a drizzle
Sea salt, to taste
Cut the zucchini into 1/2 inch slices along the diagonal. Layer on a lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spray with olive oil and and broil in the oven till nicely colored. Alternatively, you can fry them in a pan till well browned. Remove and cool.
Cook the fregola or pearled couscous as per the manufacturer's directions. Drain, toss with olive oil so it does not get sticky and set aside.
To assemble the salad, place the burrata cheese in the center of a wide bowl. Surround with the fregola or couscous, layer or surround the pasta with the grilled zucchini. Scatter the basil and salt on top and drizzle both the olive oil and lime juice all over. Top with the pecorino cheese in thin slices. Pecorino cheese is quite salty, so keep the pasta a bit under-salted. Take to the table for a beautiful display.
To serve, cut up the burrata and mix in well. Serve at room temperature.