Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Zucchini Ribbon Salad

I've written numerous times about dishes that include zucchini and other summer squash. They've been so beautiful at the farmers' market and grocery store, that I keep buying them and coming up with new combinations so we aren't always eating exactly the same thing. Generally, I only like zucchini when it's cooked, but not at all when served raw such as on a veggie and dip platter. However, I was intrigued by yet another recipe in Bon Appetit magazine that uses thin slices of zucchini "ribbons" combined with Parmesan cheese and pine nuts. My love of those two ingredients helped me push past my usual distaste of raw zucchini and prompted me to give this salad a try. Am I ever glad I did! The zucchini is sliced so thinly and then dressed with a delicious mix of lemon juice and olive oil, that it tastes nothing like the bland sticks of raw zucchini found on most veggie platters. To make the thin ribbons of zucchini, I used a regular old vegetable peeler but a mandoline would have also worked wonderfully if you happen to have one. Because I used a vegetable peeler, I found that it was easiest to make ribbons out of about 3/4 of the zucchini, leaving the remaining 1/4 for something to hold on to. I used the leftover thick piece of zucchini chopped up into a stirfry. A mandoline would allow you to slice the entire thing in to ribbons but either system works. This makes a delicious, light salad as a starter or even as a simple lunch with some leftover chicken.

Zucchini Ribbon Salad
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (always use good oil for salad dressings)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, about 1 large lemon
  • 1/4 tsp dried crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 5-6 medium zucchini
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • Small wedge of Parmesan cheese
Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice and crushed red pepper. Season with a generous pinch of salt and black pepper. Set aside.
Slice the ends off of the zucchini and peel long ribbons from top to bottom with a vegetable peeler or mandoline. You want about 4 cups + of ribbons.
Toss the zucchini ribbons with basil, pine nuts and most of the dressing. Add more dressing if desired.
Season with a bit more salt and pepper if needed.
Plate and shave strips of Parmesan cheese over the top or sprinkle with grated Parmesan.

For a printable recipe click here

1 comment:

  1. I've been looking for ways to use up all the zuchini that keeps finding its way into my fridge! Thanks!