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 zucchini muffins, just to try to get rid of it all.
Then we stuffed it: with meat, or cheese, or tomatoes, or all three. We added it to stir fries, to chili, to quiche and to casseroles. Then came the zoodle revolution when we discovered we could form it into noodles and smother it with sauce.
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.
Not only does this zucchini salad taste divine, it looks appetizing too.
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. 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 Basel and Parmesan salad.
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp dried crushed red pepper
- 2 medium zucchini, trimmed
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup seeded and diced tomatoes
- small wedge of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, 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 the basil and add.
- Toss with the dressing just before serving. Garnish generously with shavings of Parmesan Reggiano.
*You will likely have some of the vinaigrette left over for another use.
Kitchen Equipment I recommend to make this Zucchini Basil and Parmesan Salad
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