Zucchini and mint salad with pecorino pesto on bruschetta


  • Serves 6 people

  • 80 gm (½ cup) pine nuts
  • 3 cups (firmly packed) basil
  • 80 gm pecorino, finely grated
  • 200 ml olive oil, plus extra for brushing
  • Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 zucchini, thinly sliced lengthways on a mandolin
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups (loosely packed) mint, coarsely torn
  • 1 cup (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley, coarsely torn
  • 6 thick slices sourdough bread
  • To serve: nasturtium flowers (optional), torn
01   Preheat oven to 180C. Roast pine nuts on an oven tray, shaking occasionally, until golden (2-3 minutes). Set aside to cool, then process in a food processor with basil, pecorino and 80ml olive oil, until finely puréed. Stir in another 80ml oil until a thick consistency. Stir in half the lemon rind and half the juice, season to taste and set aside.
02   Heat a char-grill pan over medium-high heat. Combine zucchini and remaining olive oil in a bowl, season to taste and char-grill in batches, turning occasionally, until golden (2-3 minutes). Transfer to a bowl, add garlic and remaining lemon rind and juice, season to taste and set aside to marinate (10 minutes). Just before serving, add mint and parsley, and toss to combine.
03   Brush bread with olive oil and char-grill, turning once, until golden (1-2 minutes each side). Spread with pesto, top with zucchini and mint salad, scatter with nasturtiums and serve.
This recipe is from the March 2013 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
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