1/3 cup shelled hazelnuts
7 small zucchini (1 3/4 lbs in total)
4 TBSP olive oil
salt and black pepper
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 1/4 cups mixed green and purple basil leaves
3 oz top-quality Parmesan, broken up or very thinly sliced
2 tsp hazelnut (or walnut) oil
Scatter hazelnuts in a skillet on medium heat on the stovetop. Cook, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned and fragrant. Let them cool down before roughly chopping.
Place a ridged griddle pan on a high heat and leave it there until it’s almost re-hot – at least 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, trim the ends of the zucchini and cut them on an angle into inch-thick slices. Place them in a bowl and toss with half the olive oil and some salt and pepper. Place the slices in the hot grill pan and char-grill for about 2 minutes on each side. You want to get distinct char marks without cooking the zucchini through. Transfer to a mixing bowl, toss with balsamic vinegar and set aside.
Once the zucchini have cooled down, add the remaining olive oil, the basil and hazelnuts. Mix lightly, taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Transfer the salad to a flat plate, incorporating the Parmesan, and drizzle over the hazelnut oil.
*Recipe adapted from “Plenty” by Yotam Ottolenghi