Zucchini Salad With Avocado, Pepita Parsley Gremolata
FOR THE DRESSING
1 jalapeno, seeded, and coarsely chopped
2 large scallions, white part only chopped
1 medium garlic clove, chopped
½ cup ripe avocado
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ teaspoon sea salt - fine
⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup water
FOR THE GREMOLATA
2 tablespoons agave nectar
¼ teaspoon sea salt
⅓ cup pepitas
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley, packed
1 teaspoon lime zest
FOR THE SALAD
2 medium zucchinis, washed, ends trimmed, peeled into wide thin ribbons
2 ounces ricotta Salata
salt and pepper to taste
In a small food processor, finely chop the jalapeno, scallions, and garlic. Scrape down the side of the bowl as needed. Add the avocado, lime juice, salt, pepper, olive oil, and ¼ cup water, and blend until smooth and creamy. Add more lemon juice if the mixture is too thick.
In a medium bowl combine the agave nectar and the salt. Over medium-low heat, heat a medium skillet. Add the pepitas and toast stirring frequently as not to burn. Once golden brown and some start to brown in spots, 4 to 5 minutes, remove from the heat and transfer them to the agave salt mixture. Toss to coat working quickly.
Return the pepitas to the skillet, use a spatula to remove them from the sides of the bowl as they will stick to it. Toast again until just starting to brown, about 40 seconds. Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet and let cool completely.
Once cooled remove them from the parchment with the back of a knife and place them on a cutting board. Coarsely chop the pepitas and gather them in a mound in the center of the board. Sprinkle the parsley and lime zest over the top and continue chopping. It will be sticky, continue chopping and breaking the pepitas into a fine coarsen mixture.
Place the zucchini ribbons in a large bowl and combine with about 6 to 8 tablespoons of the dressing, adding them a little at a time. Use your hands to separate the ribbons and evenly coat the ribbons. Add 1 tablespoon of the gremolata and freshly grated ricotta Salata over the top of the zucchini. Toss the ribbons again to evenly coat. Season with salt and pepper and add more dressing if desired.
Using thongs transfer to a shallow serving dish the zucchini ribbons. Layer over it more gremolata and cheese. Repeat a couple more layers of zucchini, gremolata, and cheese, making sure you have some left for the top layer. Serve immediately.