This is a soft single vegetable salad, one of those perfect ways to highlight a summer vegetable (that during the last part of the summer begged to be highlighted as much a humanly possible).
Ordinarily I love tart, tart salads, the more vinegar or citrus the better. My kids do, too; it’s not clear as to whether this is genetic, or environmental, but Jack has been known to just douse a plate of lettuce with vinegar at a salad bar or at home, and snub the olive oil.
I think when he is alone, after he finishes the salad, he might tip the remaining vinegar in the bowl down his throat like a digestif.
Which is why this particular Zucchini Ribbon Salad is such an anomaly. There is little to no vinegar or acid or tartness. Just compact, firm zucchini peeled lengthwise with a vegetable peeler into gorgeous slender ribbons (twist the zucchini as you go to get a bit of green edge onto as many of the ribbons as you can), a nice glug of olive oil and and some chopped basil and a little minced onion, and a happy sprinkle of kosher salt and pepper.
Well. There’s almost no point in writing the recipe. But I will anyway. The zucchini will soften as it sits in the “dressing” – a little bit of softening is appealing, but too much soaking will cause the salad to become a bit too limp and possibly watery.
Having said that, I’ll eat leftovers of this for at least a day or two with pleasure.
Zucchini Ribbon Salad
- 2 medium firm zucchini
- 1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice or rice vinegar, optional
- 1 tablespoon chopped or slivered fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped yellow or red onion
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Use a vegetable peeler to peel off strips of zucchini, trying to get the strips to be as wide and flat as possible, and including a bit of green on the edges of as many of the strips as possible. As you get into the middle of the zucchini the strips will just be the pale zucchini flesh. Stop before you get to the seeds. Place the zucchini strips into a serving bowl.
- Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, lemon juice and vinegar (if using), basil, onion, and salt and pepper to the bowl and toss to combine. Add up to another tablespoon of olive oil if desired—it really depends on how dressed you like your salad. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve immediately, or let sit in the fridge or at room temperature for up to 2 hours.
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