Mediterranean Zucchini Noodles with Saffron Dressing

Kindi Lantz July 11, 2019

Mediterranean Zoodles with Balsamic Saffron Dressing

I just love the ingredients found in a fresh, Greek salad—cucumbers, olives, tomatoes, and feta made from sheep’s milk (rather than cow’s, which is what most feta found in grocery stores in the United States sell). 

While I adore simplistic salad like the above-mentioned Greek salad. Sometimes, I want something a bit heartier, so I added some other Mediterranean ingredients this time around. I included hard salami, replaced the fresh tomatoes with a sun-dried version, and spiralized a bunch of zucchini. I also felt that as long as I was straying from tradition, I might as well branch out from the typical olive oil and balsamic vinegar, spiking it with a hefty dose of saffron.

The saffron really makes this dish pop! It’s a subtle difference but it lingers on the tongue and brings out the bright flavor found naturally in the other ingredients!

I brought this dish to a summer potluck last week and was asked over and over again for the recipe. I hope it’s as big of a hit with the folks you plan on serving it to!

Zucchini Noodle Salad with Saffron Dressing, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives, Salami, & Feta

Serves 4-6 as an entree or 10-12 as a side

Ingredients

For the saffron balsamic dressing: 

  • ¼ teaspoon saffron 
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon garlic paste
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For the Mediterranean zucchini noodle salad:

  • 6 zucchini, spiralized
  • Salt 
  • 4 ounces hard salami, chopped in small cubes
  • 4 ounces sheep's milk feta, crumbled
  • 1 cup sliced kalamata olives
  • ¾ cup sundried tomatoes in oil, oil drained, tomatoes sliced into ¼” pieces
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled and sliced into ½” pieces
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • ¼ fresh lemon 

Procedure

For the saffron balsamic dressing: 

  1. Crush the saffron with the back of a spoon and soak it in the water for at least an hour (I soaked mine overnight). 
  2. Using a small container like a leak-proof jar, vigorously shake together the saffron/water mixture, vinegar, oil, mayonnaise, dijon, garlic, pepper, and salt. 
  3. Set aside and give a good shake to ensure ingredients are combined just prior to dressing the salad.

For the Mediterranean zucchini noodle salad:

  1. Generously salt your zucchini noodles and place in a colander over a bowl for an hour. The salt will pull the water from the zucchini noodles. 
  2. Use paper towels or a flour cloth to remove the remaining excess liquid from the zucchini and place in a mixing bowl, along with the salami, feta, olives, tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, and dressing. 
  3. Toss until all ingredients are thoroughly coated in dressing. 
  4. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the salad just prior to serving. 

Serving Suggestions

This refreshing and slightly tangy salad is perfect as a summer side dish but also hearty enough to be eaten as an entrée. It also makes an impressive and unexpected potluck dish!

For this recipe, I used a superb variety of saffron from Afghanistan. The all-red filaments not only add a unique flavor to the dressing but add a bright pop of color! You can find it here!

 






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