Zucchini is a low-calorie vegetable that packs a huge nutritional punch with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and its mild flavor makes it a versatile ingredient for a wide variety of dishes. This raw zucchini salad is quick to assemble and packs a ton of flavor — a perfect side dish for your Memorial Day cookout. Bulk it up with toasted pine nuts or cashews, or personalize it with your favorite fresh herbs. Make sure to use smaller zucchini — larger squash tend to have a looser texture and more seeds. You can also experiment with dressings — add some extra dijon mustard to your vinaigrette, or try different types of vinegar instead of lemon juice, like champagne vinegar or mirin. Top with basil, parsley, cilantro — whatever you like!
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 grated garlic clove
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon sea salt or more to taste
Fresh black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon honey or maple syrup (optional/to taste)
1/4 to 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme (optional)
For the salad:
3 small zucchini
1 tablespoon chopped chives
Handful of basil
Grated parmesan or crumbled feta cheese (optional)
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, dijon mustard, salt, pepper and honey or maple syrup. Slowly drizzle in the oil while whisking quickly to emulsify the mixture. Add thyme if desired.
To prep the salad, use a vegetable peeler, sharp knife or mandoline slicer to slice zucchini in long, thin strips (or whatever shape you desire) and arrange on a plate. Drizzle with dressing, then top with chives, basil, other fresh herbs as desired, cheese as desired and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.