Grilled Zucchini with Almond Feta & Madison’s Garden Dressing
The title of this dish is a mouthful, but it’s actually much simpler than it sounds. It’s really just a mish-mosh of recipes I’ve been wanting to try for awhile now. The first recipe is the Almond Feta with Herb Oil from the April edition of Vegetarian Times magazine. This recipe takes patience, but most of the time is spent soaking the almonds and than draining the “cheese” in the refrigerator. It sounds a little complicated, but it’s actually really easy to make.
Even though I’d heard this “cheese” was really good, I was still afraid to get my hopes up, because while it’s not a lot of actual work, it does take a couple days to make it. We’ve also tried a lot of vegan cheeses and have never really loved any of them. They usually work in recipes, but don’t taste that great on their own. Having gone through the whole process to make this almond feta, I have to say that it’s totally worth it! We used it for this recipe and then ate the rest on crackers – something I’ve never been able to do before with vegan cheese. I didn’t have any fresh thyme, but we had some oregano on our little porch garden (Ryan’s the green thumb), so I used that instead. I don’t know how much this actually tasted like feta, but it was so good that I don’t think it really matters. I might use just a touch less olive oil next time I make this, mainly because it’s already pretty rich, and the herb oil is flavorful enough that I think less of it would still work.
I originally planned to use this cheese in a salad with a dressing that I’ve been wanting to try from the Native Foods cookbook that has cherries, balsamic vinegar, pistachios and mint. The ingredient combo sounded so interesting to me, and I thought it would be the perfect summer dressing. I was all set to make the salad when I got a big bag of zucchini from my friend Ledette’s garden. One of the serving suggestions for Madison’s Garden Dressing is to drizzle it over grilled vegetables, so I changed the plan and decided to grill the zucchini instead. We don’t have a grill, but my grill pan works just as well. I cut the zucchini into long strips, brushed them with olive oil, sprinkled on salt and pepper and then grilled them until they were tender.
Then all that was left to do was arrange them on the plate, drizzle with the dressing, and top with almond feta, chopped roasted pistachios and mint. We ate some of the zucchini like this, and some of it in a sandwich with the feta spread on the bread. It was the perfect summer meal!