About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

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Monday, February 11, 2008
Zucchini & Pumpkin Salad

A few weeks ago, my blogging friend Tanna, did a whole series of recipes that featured pumpkin and very good they looked to. The only trouble was, at the time, we were having a few days over 40c, more than 100f, and pumpkin was probably the last thing anyone here wanted. That's the trouble with blogging across hemispheres at the height of winter/summer, so I just bookmark the recipes that sound great, to try when the weather is more appropriate.

Those of you that know Tanna realize she is a great cook and comes up with wonderful recipes and variations thereof. So when one sounds just like the thing you would want to try, but the weather is against you, it's like exquisite torture. So I got to thinking, what can you do with a pumpkin when the weather is hot? The question rattled around my mind for a while until the moment I was reading an Anne Willan cookbook and turned the page to a zucchini and yellow squash salad.

Isn't a pumpkin just a big squash?

Well, yes it is. It would also look great matched with the white of the zucchini shreds. The recipe looked and sounded great just as it was, but a small variation was in order, out with the yellow squash and in with the pumpkin. But then there was a small matter of fear, two fears in fact. I've never seen pumpkin served raw, was it safe? A quick google didn't reveal any issues, so then it was on to face my primary fear, using a mandolin to produce the neat little matchsticks. The blade that makes the sticks is a weapon of terror, but the thing is, it does its work in seconds, producing shapes that would take an age with a knife. Everything went well though, all my fingers are still there.

Looks great and tasted lovely, a bright, fresh salad with just a hint of pumpkin flavour. Next time I might blitz some toasted pumpkin seeds into the recipe for a little texture. I think Kalyn might like this, so it can be my entry to Weekend Herb Blogging, this week hosted by Ulrike from Kuchenlatein.

Zucchini & Pumpkin Salad
(adapted fron Anne Willan)

2 medium zucchini, topped and tailed
same quantity pumpkin, skinned - I used butternut
2 shallots, finely chopped
1/2 bunch dill, finely chopped
juice of 1 lemon
4 tablespoons vegetable or other neutral oil
salt & fresh ground pepper

On a mandoline, shred the zucchini and pumpkin into short matchsticks, place them in a bowl. Add the shallots and dill, then make a dressing with the lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper and mix into the salad. You can serve it straight way, but it does benefit from sitting for an hour as the vegetables soften slightly.
  posted at 7:41 am

At 10:59 am, Blogger Bron said...

Gosh this looks good Neil! What an interesting combination too, and I definitely needed more inspiration for the zucchini growing rampant!

At 12:41 pm, Blogger Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I love this dish that brings together winter and summer squash. Makes it perfect for everyone, no matter which hemisphere you're in! Also I love any excuse to use my mandoline.

At 1:06 pm, Blogger Kalyn Denny said...

That's so funny, I had clicked through already to say how good this looked before I saw my name saying you think I might like it. I do! The photos are gorgeous and it sounds so fresh and delicious.

(And I do agree, Tanna is a great cook. Someday I'm going to show up at her house and she'll have to feed me. I think I could drive there in about two days from here!)

At 12:18 am, Blogger ostwestwind said...

Thank you, your WHB submission arrived just in time, unfortunately in my spam-folder. But now it's added to the recap.

Your salad looks gorgeous and appetizing.

Ulrike from K├╝chenlatein

At 9:56 am, Blogger stickyfingers said...

Now that brings back memories, my Hungarian Aunty Susi used to make it without the pumpkin, just zucchini, and would have the mandoline set to shred really fine. In her version you add lashings of sour cream and tons of dill to it. Hmm now I have a craving. Think I'll put it with some salmon :)

Thought I would mention while I'm visiting today that The Purple Goddess will be hosting the next Melbourne Bloggers Banquet in April, at her holiday house in Dromana which features a wood fired oven & BBQ with wok burner. More details at her blog or you can email me from my blogs for the address etc if you prefer. Would love to see you there. Cheers!

At 10:45 am, Blogger neil said...

Hi bron, I think everyone needs zucchini inspiration from time to time!

Hi lydia, I didn't think of the summer/winter connection, thanks for pointing that out. I hope one day to be friends with my mandoline, but you know, if a mandoline were a business, I'm sure occupational health and safety would shut it down!

Hi kalyn, looks like Melbourne is the mandoline capital this month - I just saw Haalo's lovely jicama salad. It was funny, when I thought of this, I thought of you. I was really pleased that raw pumpkin is safe, it was worrying that there aren't too many recipes for it raw, but we are still alive!

Hi ostwestwind, glad you rescued me from the spam! Thanks for your nice words and for hosting this month.

Hi stickyfingers, with D being Polish, we have many salads with sour cream and they are all sooo tasty - your salad with salmon sounds wonderful. I haven't seen that post, but will check it out, that neck of the woods is a favourite for us.

At 2:33 pm, Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Genius Neil in all respects! That is so perfect! And pumpkin seeds would seem an excellent texture and taste complement. I love that mandoline - it still is a thrill to pull that baby out and make me look so good so fast! It does however need to be treated with respect.
I don't understand how this post skipped my radar for a day.
Beautiful salad!!

At 9:47 am, Blogger neil said...

Hi tanna, I love the mandoline too, but one can't be too careful! It almost slipped under kalyn's radar too. Looks like you will have a visitor any day now.

At 2:02 pm, Anonymous Lisa said...

This sounds delicious! I just discovered raw pumpkin and came up with this salad adding pomegranate and raw beets. As soon as zucchini come into season again, I'm going to try your recipe! Thanks! href="http://encinomom.com/raw-pumpkin-salad/"


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