This was the most popular side dish at Lotus and it has a bit of a story to it. When I was working at Bentley Restaurant + Bar, the pastry chef at the time, Dave Verheul, would always make this zucchini, crouton and parmesan salad for the staff meal. It was so delicious that when I went to Lotus, I decided to put it on as a side dish. Diners would ask: ‘Who is Dave?’ Sometimes the waiters would tell them Dave was the dishwasher, or the apprentice at Lotus, and one time we even had to send out a guy from the kitchen pretending to be Dave, because a customer loved it so much they wanted to meet him. After a few months I found out that it wasn’t even Dave’s salad. It belonged to Alex Herbert, who had a bistro called Bird Cow Fish. Dave had worked there before moving to the Bentley and had brought it with him. It is a fantastic accompaniment to any roast or barbecued meat or fish dish. Thanks Dave (and Alex).
Whisk the ingredients together in a bowl, and be sure to whisk again immediately prior to dressing the salad.
Using a mandolin, shave the zucchini as thinly as possible into small rounds and put them in a bowl along with the croutons and the parsley leaves. Finely grate three-quarters of the parmesan into the salad and generously dress with the vinaigrette. Season generously with sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper and toss well. Transfer the salad to a serving bowl and grate the rest of the cheese over the top before serving.
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