A Simple, Versatile Summer Salad: Shaved Zucchini with Lemon, Almonds, and Asiago

| July 2, 2014 | 0 Comments
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Shaved Zucchini Salad with Lemon, Almonds, and Asiago. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

Shaved Zucchini Salad with Lemon, Almonds, and Asiago. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

If you’ve never had this beautiful salad you are in for a big surprise. With long ribbons of raw zucchini, a splash of lemon, some salty cheese and earthy nuts–this has to be the world’s easiest and most versatile salad. Plus it goes with just about any summer fare. And best of all, it’s freaking delicious. My toddler loves it. I adore it. My husband is always happy when I make it (hell, he can even make it!).

I hated zucchini until someone, years ago, served me a salad like this one. Before, I thought of all zucchini as overcooked, mushy ickyness. But this salad was a revelation: I actually do like zucchini. Just not cooked (or at least very lightly cooked so it still has some density).

Did I mention it was versatile and accommodating? You can serve this to anyone. If you leave out the cheese, you can serve it to your gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, Paleo, raw food sister’s cousin’s friend. You can tell a picky toddler it is pasta. You can serve it as pasta. You can add chopped fresh herbs (basil or parsley are great), make it with or without cheese, or even with or without nuts (I like almonds or pine nuts, but pistachios or walnuts would also be delicious).

A note on choosing zucchini: Zucchini, a summer squash, is best during the hot summer months. In fact, it’s just about everywhere right now, and it’s cheap cheap cheap. Select smaller zucchini as they tend to be sweeter; I avoid the super jumbo ones. Look for an array of colors, zucchini comes not only as the dark green vegetable we are all used to seeing, but yellow, striped, and even multi-colored (green and yellow usually).

Ingredients for Shaved Zucchini Salad with Lemon, Almonds, and Asiago. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

Ingredients for Shaved Zucchini Salad with Lemon, Almonds, and Asiago. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

Recipe: Shaved Zucchini Salad with Lemon, Almonds, and Asiago

Serves 6

    Ingredients:

  • 5 or 6 small zucchini, trimmed (about 1 1/4 lbs total; I like to use a mix of different colors)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 oz. Asiago, Pecorino, Parmesan, or ricotta salata cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons chopped roasted, salted almonds; toasted pine nuts; or chopped toasted walnuts
    Directions:

  1. Using a vegetable peeler, shave long strips of zucchini from the stem end to the blossom end into a shallow serving bowl or plate. As you shave ribbons, rotate the zucchini until you’ve shaved down to the center core of seeds. Discard the core (or shave it as far as you can!).
  2. Using a vegetable peeler, shave long strips of zucchini from the stem end to the blossom end. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

    Using a vegetable peeler, shave long strips of zucchini from the stem end to the blossom end. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

    Shave edge of cheese with a vegetable peeler to create thin strips. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

    Shave edge of cheese with a vegetable peeler to create thin strips. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

  3. Drizzle with a little oil (1-2 tablespoons), squeeze the lemon over the top, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat the ribbons evenly. Sprinkle with the cheese shavings and nuts and serve.
Shaved Zucchini Salad with Lemon, Almonds, and Asiago. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

Shaved Zucchini Salad with Lemon, Almonds, and Asiago. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

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Category: Bay Area Bites Food + Drink, healthy recipes and guides, holiday recipes, holidays and traditions, kids and family, recipes, vegetarian and vegan

About the Author ()

Kim Laidlaw is a cookbook author, editor, food writer, producer, project manager, and baker who has been in the kitchen covered in flour since she was big enough to stir the biscuit dough. She has over 16 years of experience in book and online publishing, and a lifetime of experience in the kitchen. Her first cookbook, Home Baked Comfort, was published in 2011; her second cookbook, Baby & Toddler On the Go, was published in April 2013; and her third cookbook, Williams-Sonoma Dessert of the Day, was published in October 2013. She was the first blogger on KQED’s Bay Area Bites blog, which launched in 2005, and previously worked as a professional baker at La Farine French Bakery in Oakland, CA. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and their toddler, whom she cooks for everyday. Find out more at http://www.kimlaidlaw.com.