Can we talk about these so-called dog days? Does anyone know when they’re supposed to start? Or end? We always had August pegged as the dog days month — but, let’s be real, that’s solely based on the fact that the movie, Dog Day Afternoon, takes place in August.
What we do know is that the dog days are here in Hollywood and have arrived with a vengeance. And that means we’re starting in on that time when two summertime truths emerge: a) it’s too hot to really cook and b) you somehow find yourself with have a bushel of zucchini to get through. Since we liken ourselves a problem solver, we thought I’d kill two culinary birds with one stone with this Marinated Zucchini Chicken Salad.
The hardest part about this Zucchini Chicken Salad is either prepping the zucchini or waiting for it to marinate — both of which are hardly hard, if we’re being honest. It’s perfect for using up leftover chicken or making your way through the mountain of zucchini that seems to haunt all green thumb-ed gardeners this time of year. But mostly it’s perfect because it makes the dog days that much more bearable.
zested and juice
sliced paper thin
Place zucchini down on a cutting board and, using a julienne peeler, peel the zucchini until you have a bunch of zucchini ribbons. Place ribbons in a bowl and add lemon zest, lemon juice, a few spoonfuls of mustard, red onion, half of the olive oil, and a pinch of salt and a few grindings of pepper.
If you don't have a julienne peeler you could also use a mandoline with a julienne (aka toothed) blade or just do it by hand!
Set aside to marinate briefly, at least 5 minutes. Add the chicken and parsley, add the remaining olive oil and toss to combine. Taste and add more lemon juice, mustard, or salt or pepper, as desired. When ready to serve, divide greens among serving bowls and top with zucchini chicken mixture. Garnish with almonds and serve.
If Marcona almonds aren't your thing, make this with your favorite flavored almonds such as Tamari Almonds or Wasabi Almonds.
Food styling and photography by Aida Mollenkamp