I have decided to jump into a new cooking group on the web: Hay Hay It's Donna Day. Regular readers would know that I am already cooking and posting Donna's recipes regularly (so a new group is not really much more incremental work), and I like the idea of a monthly challenge. I have had an ongoing love affair with Donna Hay's recipes for years. I have collected every issue of her food magazines (slightly obsessively embarrassing), plus have most of her cookbooks. She is so prolific that it is becoming a problem for me to house my collection of her work, let alone the other squillion cookbooks I seem to have amassed. So why do I hang onto her magazines when I am happy to ditch others? There are a few reasons:
- I find her recipes work (as long as you follow them) and they are generally pretty quick to pull together and never require a trolley of ingredients.
- the magazines are beautiful to look at, and the food is styled so wonderfully that it is a pleasure using them.
- there is an outstanding index to the magazines, which used to be in hard copy but is now on the web. This means that if I am looking for a particular recipe, I can track it down without literally thumbing years of accumulated magazines. Yay!
So on to Hay Hay It's Donna Day #27. Denise from Chez Us has stepped in to facilitate the event after it was started by Barbara at Winos and Foodies and then nurtured by Bron Marshall. This month's challenge was chosen by host Priya from Akshayapaatram, and she nominated summer salads, preferably vegetarian as her theme. So off I went to my large pile of Donna magazines and found this Witlof with Zucchini, Mint and Fetta Salad in the Dec/Jan 07 issue. It was really good - so good in fact that I am planning to make it again as soon as I can get to the supermarket to get more zucchini. I have never been a zucchini fan, I think because I started eating zucchini as part of ratatouille (squishy and a bit of an underperformer). Served like this - sliced thinly and chargrilled - zucchini is a star. Throw in some fetta and mint and toss it through some lettuce (sadly no witlof to be found), and it is completely delicious. The dressing is nothing more than some white wine vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper - all you need to show off this gorgeous produce.
Witlof With Zucchini, Mint and Fetta
from "Donna Hay Magazine" Dec/Jan 07
Serves 8, as a side dish
2 yellow zucchini, thinly sliced (I used a vegetable peeler for the slicing)
2 green zucchini, thinly sliced
1 tbl olive oil
150g fetta, chopped
1 cup mint leaves
1 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 tbl white wine vinegar
1 witlof (I used oakleaf lettuce)
Heat a char grill pan over medium heat. Toss the zucchin with 1 tbl olive oil, and sea salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. Chargrill in batches for 1-2 mins or until golden and soft. Place zucchini, fetta, mint, extra oil and vinegar in a bowl ad toss gently to combine. Serve on a bed of lettuce.