Zucchini and Cherry Tomatoes
Insalata di Zucchini e Pomodorini

serves: 8 servings

The secret to bringing out the flavor of the zucchini without making it soggy is to cook it whole for just long enough to soften it. If you don't have cherry tomatoes, cut regular tomatoes into chunks more or less the size of the sliced zucchini.

1 pint ripe, juicy cherry tomatoes, rinsed and cut in half
16 fresh mint leaves, shredded
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
freshly ground black pepper
4 small zucchini (about 1 1/2 pounds), washed


Bring a large saucepan or braising pan of salted water to a boil. Set a large bowl of ice water near the stove.

Slip the zucchini into the boiling water and cook just until softened and bright green, about 4 minutes. Transfer them to the ice water and let stand until cool. Drain well.

Trim the ends from the zucchini and cut the zucchini in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 1/2 inch slices. Toss the zucchini, tomatoes, mint, and enough olive oil to coat them lightly in a large serving bowl. Add salt, pepper, and vinegar to taste and toss again. Serve immediately or chill about 1 hour.