I had some cold curried zucchini salad at The Table (a vegetarian restaurant in Ottawa) last week, and thought it was such a great idea that I wanted to make it myself. I didn’t actually have a recipe though, so I decided to create one. Good thing I did, actually, as I went back a few days later to try it again and get a better feel, but it seems like they had changed it. This time the zucchini wasn’t cooked (a big no-no in my opinion – cook it, just don’t overcook it), and they used sesame oil, which I ordinarily support, but in this case, it’s flavour takes over instead of enhances the dish). So I went to work on the recipe on my own. I reviewed many curried chicken salad recipes and some zucchini recipes and pulled ideas from each. My first try with the recipe was pretty good, and the friends I brought it to seemed to like it. I still felt there was room for improvement, and so I created version 2.0 this past weekend. Delicious! And of course, easy to make, and healthy too. It took about 10 minutes of prep time (that’s generous – I was moving at a glacial pace), a little more than 5 minutes to cook, and then at least 15 minutes in the fridge to cool.
1/2 onion (Sliced and quartered)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
2 tbsp olive oil (or avocado oil)
3 medium zucchini (Yellow or green, or a combination. Slice them on a diagonal about a half inch thick. Ok, truth be told, I can’t tell the difference between a quarter and half inch enough to eyeball it. Look at the picture. That’s about how thick to cut it)
1 tbsp curry powder*
2 tbsp Greek yoghurt (Note, my first version was without Greek yoghurt. If you want a vegan option, consider skipping the Greek yoghurt but definitely add the extra tablespoon of olive oil, or even a tablespoon and a half)
1 tsp cider vinegar or lemon juice or lime juice
1 tbsp olive oil (optional)
Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet. Add onion, and stir lightly.
About 30s later, add the garlic.
Another 30s later, add the curry powder.
Continue heating and stirring for another minute.
Add the zucchini, and continue stirring.
After about another minute, add the 2nd tbsp of olive oil.
Continue to cook for another 1-2 minutes then pour everything from the pan into a bowl and place in the fridge.
Once cool, add the Greek yoghurt and vinegar or lemon or lime juice. You may also want to add an additional tablespoon or olive oil, although it is not necessary.
Cool completely and then serve with, well, just about anything.
Curried zucchini salad shown here with steak, raw vegetables and cous cous
If you give this a try, please let me know how you liked it. I loved it so much that I’m thinking of posting it to AllRecipes.com, but would love to get more feedback on it first. While I think it’s delicious, I feel like there’s room for improvement, and would love to hear suggestions to get there from other foodies out there.
* If you ran out of curry powder like I did, or are a bit adventurous, make your own curry powder. I made mine by mixing together 1 tsp each of turmeric, cumin, coriander and chili powder, with a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg (slight adaptation of a recipe I found on Yahoo Answers). Remember 3 tsp in a tbsp, so with 1 tsp of each part, you will have slightly more than 1 tbsp of curry powder.
Elsbeth Vaino, B.Sc., CSCS, is a personal trainer and lover of delicious foods in Ottawa, Canada.