This Zucchini Basil and Parmesan salad is a perfect way to savour the flavours of late summer. It's a simple salad made with zucchini squash, tomatoes, basil, Parmesan cheese curls and a light lemon dressing.
I really want you to make this Zucchini Basil and Parmesan Salad.
Do you remember when zucchini first became popular? It was praised as a "new" superfood, full of nutrition. We all planted it in our gardens. What did we do with it? We made zucchini loaf, we hid it in zucchini chocolate cake and we baked batch after batch of healthy zucchini banana muffins, just to try to get rid of it all.
Then we stuffed it: with meat, or cheese, or tomatoes, or all three, like these Greek Chicken Stuffed Zucchini Boats. We added it to stir fries, to chili, to crustless zucchini quiche and to casseroles.
Then came the zoodle revolution when we discovered we could form it into noodles and smother it with sauce or serve it as a Zoodle Pad Thai with Shrimp or other additions.
It seems to me that all these recipes were attempts to disguise its taste because SOME PEOPLE HATE ZUCCHINI. Yes, they do.
But let me tell you about this Zucchini Basil and Parmesan Salad. This salad will convert the confirmed zucchini-haters in your family. It's light, it's raw, it's crisp and it's interesting, and I want you to make it so you'll love it too.
But hurry. Farmer's markets are full of zucchini now. Your neighbour with a garden probably has an extra one to share. Pick the small to medium-sized ones and try the yellow variety, too.
A spiralizer makes paper-thin zucchini slices
See the way those paper-thin slices of zucchini are all perky in the salad bowl? It's easy to make them look like that with a spiralizer tool. I use mine frequently with zucchini, cucumbers, apples, carrots and more.
To make this salad extra appealing, use a spiralizer or a mandoline or a very sharp knife to slice it very thinly and combine it with other late-summer garden goodness like tomatoes, basil, and green onions.
Toss it all with this light lemony dressing with a tiny chili pepper kick and add some curls of Parmigiano Reggiano for a sharp, salty contrast.
🔁 Possible variations
If you are avoiding cheese made from dairy products, try a sheep's cheese like Manchego or Pecorino. Either one is just as tasty in this Zucchini Basil and Parmesan salad.
Zucchini Basil and Parmesan Salad
- ⅓ cup olive oil, extra virgin
- 2 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- ½ tsp black pepper freshly ground
- ¼ tsp dried red pepper
- 2 medium zucchini, trimmed
- ¼ cup fresh basil, chiffonade cut
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- ¾ cup tomatoes, seeded and diced
- ¼ cup Parmigiano Reggiano, shaved into curls
- Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Set aside to allow flavours to blend.
- Use a spiralizer or a mandoline or a very sharp knife to slice the zucchini very thinly. Place in a large bowl.
- Chop the onions and tomatoes and add to the bowl. Gently tear or chiffonade cut the basil and add.
- Toss with the dressing just before serving. Garnish generously with shavings of Parmesan Reggiano.