Zucchini salad

Recipe: Zucchini and pine nut salad (Eric Boyd / Los Angeles Times)

From "The bloom is still on" by Russ Parsons, July 19, 2006

Total time: 15 minutes, plus 30 minutes standing time

Servings: 4 to 6

Note: Toasted pine nuts are available at Trader Joe's. If you can't find them, place the raw nuts in a small pan and toast them in the oven at 325 degrees until they are fragrant, about 5 minutes.

2 pounds zucchini

3 tablespoons kosher salt

6 tablespoons minced red onion (about 1 small onion)

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

1/4 cup shredded basil leaves (about 6 large leaves)

1. Rinse and cut the ends from the zucchini. Cut the zucchini in lengthwise quarters and then crosswise into one-third- to one-half-inch slices. Do not slice thinner or the zucchini will turn mushy during salting.

2. In a mixing bowl, toss the zucchini slices with the salt to coat well. Turn the zucchini into a strainer and position it over the bowl to catch the liquid that drains. Set aside for 30 minutes. You'll see when the zucchini is ready because the sharp cut corners will soften.

3. After 30 minutes, discard the liquid that has collected in the bowl and wipe the bowl dry. Rinse the zucchini well under cold running water until it tastes only slightly salty. Pat the zucchini dry in a kitchen towel and return it to the mixing bowl.

4. Add the red onion, olive oil, lemon juice and pine nuts and stir to combine well. Stir in the shredded basil; taste and adjust the seasoning before serving.

Each of 6 servings: 129 calories; 3 grams protein; 6 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 11 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 319 mg. sodium.