A subtle interplay of aroma, texture and flavour creates beautiful balance in this simple salad. There’s roasted crunch, creamy Jarlsberg, pliant zucchini, and a sparkling top note from the cilantro.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Scatter the hazelnuts on a parchment-lined baking sheet and toast them in the oven for 12-15 minutes, shaking the pan every 5 minutes, or until they smell toasted and their skins start coming off. Allow to cool.
Rub the nuts in a dish towel, or between your hands, to remove their skins. Don’t worry if some if the skin doesn’t come off. Discard the skins. Chop half the nuts, and save the rest for the vinaigrette.
Using an immersion blender or a small food processor, blend the cilantro, garlic, oil, vinegar, and remaining nuts. Season with salt and pepper. Add a little cold water if desired, to thin the vinaigrette.
Oil and heat a grill or ridged cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Toss the zucchini in a tablespoon of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Grill on each side for 2-3 minutes, or until they have strong grill marks and the zucchini is tender, but still a little crisp. Let come to room temperature.
Lay the zucchini and watercress on a serving platter. Sprinkle with the Jarlsberg and hazelnuts. Drizzle with vinaigrette and serve.