The earthiness of walnuts, creaminess of grilled zucchini set against the deep hues of purple basil make this a most luxurious summer salad.
- ½ cup shelled walnuts
- 1.75 pound summer squash
- 4 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 1 pinch each kosher salt & black pepper
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup clean and roughly torn, loosely packed squash blossoms
- 1 cup mixed green and purple basil leaves
- 3 ounce parmesan cheese, very thinly sliced (optional)
- 2 teaspoon walnut oil
Preheat the oven to 300ºF. Spread the walnuts onto a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast until nicely browned, about 12 minutes. Chop the nuts roughly.
Trim the ends of the summer squash and cut them on an angle into 3/8‑inch-thick slices. Place them in a bowl and toss with half the olive oil and some salt and pepper.
Set a grill pan over medium-high heat. Allow it to get hot to the point that you cannot hold only your hand above the surface more than 3 seconds. Working in batches, lay the slices of summer squash in a single layer onto the grill pan and cook until nicely marked, about 2 minutes per side.
Transfer the squash to a medium bowl as they cook. Once they are all grilled, pour over the balsamic vinegar, toss together and set aside to cool.
Once completely cool add the remaining olive oil, squash blossoms, basil and walnuts. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the salad to a serving plate, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese (if using) and drizzle of walnut oil.