It is pouring rain today, and believe it or not, this has not happened for a LONG time here in the Pacific Northwest! It feels good to sit in my office and hear the rain pouring down while I drink a hot cup of chai and imagine that the trees must be rejoicing. Is it my imagination? Do I hear the trees rejoicing with long root-deep gulps? Are the trees outside my window extending their branches more than normal? Their droopy leaves seem to be perking up before my eyes. It’s a refreshing, cleansing rain.
Speaking of refreshing and cleansing, I have been meaning to post this recipe for my summer zucchini salad. We enjoyed eating it last week during some hot summer weather, on a day that now seems worlds away from the rainy, hot-chai, kind of day we are having here today. I replicated this salad from one that we ate on vacation many years ago in Chamonix, France – also on a hot summer day!
Maybe some of you in warmer climates will be able to benefit from the coolness of this zucchini summer salad over the weekend!
Zucchini Summer Salad Recipe
- 2-3 medium zucchini (5-6 inches long and not too thick)
- The juice of one lemon
- Cherry or grape tomatoes (one cup), washed and sliced in halves
- Basil or other herb of choice (I used shiso, but mint would also be nice)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Wash the zucchini well and julienne. I used a mandolin to cut the zucchini into thin strips, but you can also use a zucchini spaghetti noodle cutter, a knife or another tool. Place the strips into a large bowl.
- Add the cut tomatoes to the bowl.
- Add the herbs, sliced into thin strips.
- Sprinkle the bowl with freshly ground pepper.
- Mix the dressing in a separate bowl, depending on how much zucchini you cut. I used 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and the juice of half a lemon, 1/2 tsp of salt and a little more ground pepper if you like. For a more lemony salad, you an always add more lemon juice once you’ve tasted the salad.
- Whisk the dressing and add it to the bowl.
- Toss the salad gently to incorporate the dressing, tomatoes, and herbs into the zucchini.
- Taste and add more salt, pepper, and lemon to your liking.
- Feel free to add nuts or some firm grains like wheat berries or farro if you want to make this a more substantial dish.
- Serve and enjoy!
Note: Once you salt the zucchini, it will loose water, so it’s best to make this salad just before serving or you’ll end up with a very watery salad. If you are making the salad for a potluck or dinner party and need to make it ahead of time, you can salt the zucchini and wait for the water to come out. Then drain the water and, if needed to reduce the salt, rinse and dry the zucchini on dish towels before mixing in the tomatoes, herbs, and dressing. Be sure to watch the salt to make sure it doesn’t end up too salty in the end.