Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Zucchini Salad

June 2010 533

So here’s the deal: All the plants in the world will die but you get to save the world by choosing seeds from one plant that will feed the multitudes. What plant to choose? It’s got to be the zucchini right? They’re as fecund as Kate Goselin. The two zucchini plants in my garden that started as tiny seeds a month ago no bigger than a baby’s fingernail seem to have been impregnated with fertility drugs. They’re churning out those babies quicker than you can say sextuplets.

For the past two weeks, every morning I go out to the garden and harvest one, two or more zucchini – both the long variety and the squat, round variety.

June 2010 472 Not that I’m complaining. I’ve found plenty of uses for my harvest – from simply sautéed zucchini with olive oil and garlic, to stuffed zucchini, zucchini scones, chocolate zucchini cake and more. Oh and don’t get me started on zucchini flowers. I love them sliced up and cooked with pasta but if you’ve never eaten them deep-fried and stuffed with mozzarella and anchovies, bella mia, don’t delay any further.

Granted, it’s not low-cal but sometimes you gotta take the plunge and experience the love. However this recipe, made with raw zucchini, is easier on the waistline and is also perfect for these beastly hot days we’ve been having here in the Northeast U.S. One of my first entries when I started this blog two years ago was a similar recipe for zucchini carpaccio, but this one takes it a bit further with the parmesan and tomatoes.

I used both the globe zucchini (the pale green skin) and the long variety (the darker green skin) and it’s a visual delight as well as a great taste sensation. If you’ve got yellow squash, you could layer that in as well. But you will need a mandoline to slice the zucchini or maybe a food processor, if yours has a disc that will slice thinly enough. 

June 2010 521 All you do is slice the zucchini, layer them attractively and decorate with herbs, sliced grape tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, shaved parmesan cheese, and an olive-oil based dressing.

We ate the zucchini salad with crabcakes the first night, but the leftovers were equally good the next day in a completely vegetarian meal of bulgur-chick pea salad and peperonata (my friend Lilli made this one with capers she brought home from Salina, one of the Eolian islands off the coast of Sicily) .

June 2010 531

Zucchini Salad (Zucchini Carpaccio, part two)

Serves at least four as a side dish

printable recipe here

This tastes best if you pour the dressing over the vegetables 1/2 hour before serving.

two zucchini (preferably of different colors)

grape tomatoes to line the serving plate

2 t. toasted pine nuts (toast them by tossing in a hot skillet - no butter required)

shavings of Parmesan cheese

fresh basil (I used both green and purple) thinly sliced

minced parsley

finely cut chives

salt, pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

2 T. white balsamic vinegar

1 clove garlic, smashed

Slice the zucchini very finely with a mandolin. Layer the zucchini slices, alternating colors, on a plate. Top with herbs, toasted pine nuts and Parmesan Cheese. Line the edge of the plate with the grape tomatoes and sprinkle basil over top of them. Make the dressing by mixing the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and garlic together. Drizzle over the top and serve. Keeps well for leftovers the next day.



  1. What a pretty and refined salad! Perfect when it's hot outside.



  2. The Kate Gosselin reference made me laugh out loud (at work. opps!). This salad looks great. Our zucchini are still gestating, but I'm looking forward to them. At our farmer's market at the end of last summer, there were three-foot long zucchinis. Apparently they just keep growing if they don't get picked!

  3. I've been grilling zucchini weekly!
    Your salad is beautiful.

    Remember the saying "if you have no zucchini, you have no friends".
    I am waiting for my brown paper bags to appear on my porch filled with tomatoes and zucchini!

    Stay cool!

  4. At least zucchini is a versatile vegetable and there are hundreds of ways to prepare it. It won't be long before the neighbor kids make their rounds with a wagon full of zucchinis to pass out to neighbors. Everyone wants it at first, not so much later in the season.

  5. Yeah if any vegetable is going to save us from world hunger in the wake of a nuclear apocalypse. It's zucchini.

    I love the fresh flavors in this salad! Especially those large shaves of parmesan on top.

  6. Wow,
    That is one picture-worthy salad. And I'm in awe of your gardening skills.

    My favorite zucchini recipe is to chop up about a pound and a half of zucchini. Cook it in 1/2 cup of water with 1/2 tsp. of salt for 15 minutes. YES, it will get all soggy and overcooked looking. Put it in the blender, blend until smooth and add 2 tbls. cold butter. You're left with a ravishingly green GORGEOUS sauce which is to die for on salmon…with a side of brown rice and broccoli to dip in the sauce. That is probably one of my top 3 or 4 favorite recipes of all time.

  7. This salad is beautiful Linda, If I had pine nuts I'd make it tonight! How about hazelnuts, that would work, don't you think?

  8. This looks fabulous! How lucky are you to have zucchini popping up like rabbits. I had to laugh at the Kate Gosselin comment! ;)

    I am waiting for a special order or squash blossoms from the farmers market today. I cannot wait to prepare them tonight!

  9. I love zucchini this way...simple and delicious.

  10. che bella ricetta!!! Bravissima! gli zucchini sono una delle mie verdure preferite!

  11. I have tons of zucchini right now and will try some of your great ideas. The zucchini salad looks fantastic and I love your vegetarian meal.

  12. Your zucchini salad is just the belle of the ball. So pretty and summer-delicate. I may just go out in the rain and pick some right now!

  13. Love it! This will be on the menu this week. Thanks for sharing.

  14. bella, bella...I also like zucchini ribbons with orange slices and fennel.

  15. I love stacey's quote - this salad looks so refreshing - I drooled a little when the page opened...

  16. This looks cool and delightful. Linda! Those capers look amazing.

  17. That's quite the zucchini party you've got going there! My fave still is the raw salad...remarkably simple and so flavourful.

  18. Quando vengo a trovarti trovo sempre ricette interessanti, farti visita è un piacere.segnata anche questa. Ciao Daniela.

  19. What a gorgeous salad. And it's not that all hard to do.:-). The combination of gorgeous and easy makes me a very happy camper. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  20. Linda...this is the perfect meal for this beastly hot weather we have had here in NJ...
    I want to stick a fork into the screen and take a big refreshing and delicious it looks!
    I will be making this one soon!

  21. the colors and flavors of this fantastic salad...

  22. All of these recipes look divine-I am actually looking for a zucchini tomato tart recipe that I can sell at the Farmers Market, along with my other Italian fare on Sundays-any ideas??

  23. Oh, it is ever so lovely! The pinenuts are a wonderful crunchy addition.

  24. beautiful and delicious salad, love the addition of pine nuts.

  25. You are funny!
    The salads look great, so summery!

  26. I love zucchini, I guess I must try it! Thanks.

  27. What a beautiful creation, nothing says summer more than zucchini and tomatoes, :)

  28. I love your zucchini carpaccio, Linda - a perfect treatment for the summer bounty!

  29. This sounds delicious! I have all these ingredients handy so I'll definitely be making this recipe. I don't own a mandoline but I make zucchini ribbons by shaving it with a vegetable peeler. Then I mix it in with spaghetti to lighten up carbs.
    ps. that short round zucchini is adorable!