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Farm To Fork: Fresh Zucchini Basil Salad From Minute Man National Park08:32
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Laura Olive Sackton, co-founder and farm co-manager of First Root Farm in Concord with Tremont 647 chef and owner Andy Husbands. (Emma-Jean Weinstein/WBUR)
Laura Olive Sackton, co-founder and farm co-manager of First Root Farm in Concord with Tremont 647 chef and owner Andy Husbands. (Emma-Jean Weinstein/WBUR)
This article is more than 5 years old.

For our occasional food series, Farm to Fork, we go out into the farms, fields and markets with Tremont 647 chef and owner Andy Husbands to search for the best ingredients New England has to offer.

For our latest installment, we headed west from Boston to Minute Man National Park, where we prepared a great dish that celebrates this season of fresh summer vegetables.

Guests

Andy Husbands, chef and owner of Tremont 647. He tweets @andyhusbands.

Laura Sackton, co-founder and co-manager of First Root Farm.

Raw Zucchini Basil Salad

Andy Husbands' raw zucchini basil salad, made at First Root Farm. (Emma-Jean Weinstein/WBUR)
Andy Husbands' raw zucchini basil salad, made at First Root Farm. (Emma-Jean Weinstein/WBUR)

Makes: 4 side-dish servings

Ingredients:
2 medium-sized zucchini, ends removed, sliced lengthwise 1/2 mm thick
2 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
juice of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
2 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley
5 basil leaves, roughly chopped
4 mint leaves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
coarse sea salt, for serving

Instructions:

1. Cut the zucchini into long thin pieces (like spaghetti) using a mandolin or into quarter inch thick half moons.
2. Toss with the rest of the ingredients and serve immediately.

Grilled Zucchini Salad With Sea Salt And Lemon Zest

A grilled version of Andy's zucchini salad. (Courtesy Ken Goodman Photography)
A grilled version of Andy's zucchini salad. (Courtesy Ken Goodman Photography)

Makes: 4 side-dish servings

There's a real skill to perfectly grilling zucchini, eggplant and summer squash — a second too long and you have a mushy piece of we don’t know what. The key is to remember that, just like a steak or piece of fish, vegetables keep cooking after they are removed from the heat source. So it's important to get them off the fire early enough.

Make sure not to over-oil vegetables before you grill them. Zucchini absorbs oil, and too much would make the salad greasy or the oil could drip and cause a flare-up. When you have a flare-up, soot, or carbon, envelops the food, leaving a bitter taste in your mouth.

Ingredients:
2 medium-sized zucchini, ends removed, sliced lengthwise 1/2 mm thick
2 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
juice of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
2 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley
5 basil leaves, roughly chopped
4 mint leaves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
coarse sea salt, for serving

Instructions:

1. Build a medium direct fire. Spread an even layer of unlit charcoal in the bottom of the grill. Fill a chimney halfway with charcoal. Stuff two sheets of newspaper in the bottom of the chimney and light it. When the coals are fully engaged — you should see flames peeking over the top — pour them over the unlit charcoal. If using a gas grill, light the gas and adjust the temperature on both sides to medium.

2. Lightly oil zucchini and season with salt and pepper.

3. When you can hold your hands over the fire for no more than 5-8 seconds, clean the grill grate. Place zucchini on the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook for 2-3 minutes more, until it is golden brown and the zucchini is firm but you can bend it with tongs. Remove from heat and place on cutting board.

4. Slice the zucchini crosswise about 1/4 inch thick and place in a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients to the zucchini and toss very gently to combine. Sprinkle sea salt over the salad and serve immediately or set aside at room temperature until serving time.

This segment aired on July 30, 2014.

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