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Zesty Zucchini Chickpea Salad

3 medium zucchini (about 6 oz. each)
1/2 tsp salt
5 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced (or more if you like garlic)
1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves, crumbled (or 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme, minced)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup drained canned chickpeas
1/2 cup sliced pitted ripe olives
3 green onions, minced
1 canned chipotle chili pepper in adobo sauce, drained, seeded, minced
1 ripe avacado
1/3 cup crumbled feta or 3 Tbsp. grated Romano cheese
1 head Boston lettuce, cored, separated into leaves
sliced tomatoes and cilantro sprigs for garnish

Cut Zucchini lebgthwise into halves; cut halves crosswise into
1/4-inch-thich slices. Place slices in medium bowl; sprinkle with
salt. Toss to mix. Spread on several layers of paper towels. Let
stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to drain.

Combine vinegar, garlic, and thyme in large bowl. Gradually add
oil in thin, steady stream, whisking continuously until dressing
is thoroughly blended.

Pat zucchini dry; add to dressing. Ad chickpeas, olives, and
onions; toss lightly to coat. Cover; refrigerate at least 30 minutes
or up to 4 hours, stiring occasionally.

Add chili to salad just before serving. Stir gently to mix. Peel,
pit, and cut avacado into 1/2-inch cubes. Add avacado and cheese
to salad; toss lightly to mix.

Serve salad in shallow lettuce-lines bowl or plate. Garnish with
slices of tomato and springs of cilantro if desired.


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