Shaved Zucchini Salad

I’ve been meaning to experiment with shaved zucchini for a while. I’ve seen it in a million places for very specific diets – vegans, gluten-free folks, paleo people, raw foodies and low-carb aficionados have all used it as a pasta substitute – kind of brilliant, actually. That’s not why I’m trying it today – as I’ve mentioned before, I don’t love to make substitutions that fundamentally change a dish – but that doesn’t mean an application isn’t good on its own merit.

In short, I wanted to try shaved zucchini to see if it was Good Eats. And you know what? It totally is.

I have used raw zucchini many times – as rounds, roughly chopped and thrown into a salad, etc – but none of those compliment the texture of zucchini the way this application does. The structure of the zucchini means that if you shave these at about 1/8th-inch thickness, they are crisp but flexible. They’re sturdy enough to be a cool structural element, as shown in today’s salad, and they also would be excellent with a sauce or gorgeous bunched up on a kebab.

 

I’m excited about what this means for lunches, too. It’s so easy to eat grains and carbs at every meal. While I think they are an important part of a healthy diet, I also think that if it’s pasta for lunch, rice for dinner, repeat, then there will be some issues. This was really filling and I’m excited to see how I can play with it for our work lunches.

Myth confirmed, as they say… I will be trying this again soon.

Here’s what you need for salad for two:

  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 very large tomato or two medium ones – home grown or heirloom if you can!
  • Parmesan (wedge form for best presentation, but if you’re not worried about that, grated will do)
  • A handful of sunflower kernels (pine nuts would also work)
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar

All you need to make this fancy-looking lunch salad, first course, or appetizer is a vegetable peeler and a knife.

Start by washing your zucchini. Use a vegetable peeler to slowly shred off long, 1/8-inch thick (ish) slices. Stop when you have about a cup and a half per person (eyeball it – what’s most important is that you like the zucchini-tomato distribution).

Cut the tomato into wedges and slice off small (2-inch ish) slabs of Parmesan. Layer these three ingredients to make a fun food sculpture. I suggest “folding” the zucchini shavings so the curves from the gentle fold stick out sort of like flower petals, as show in the picture.

Add a sprinkling of sunflower kernels and then dress with olive oil and a touch of Balsamic. Salt and pepper liberally, as always :)

Sorry, I had to. I just got so many good ones today!

6 Comments »

  1. This looks so fancy! I love zucchini but never do much with it beyond steaming or roasting. What a good variation!

    Comment by Mary K — September 3, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

  2. The best part is, it looks fancy and took 3 minutes to make.

    Comment by bekky — September 4, 2012 @ 10:04 am

  3. Cluster some grilled shrimp around the base to kick it up to an entre—and yellow squash works great too!

    We use this application all the time in thai-inspired wok dishes and I love it.

    Comment by Elle — September 4, 2012 @ 3:11 pm

  4. I actually haven’t tried this one yet. Good to know that it would be worth the effort! Did you just use a knife to slice them that thin, or do you have something that jullienes (sp?) them?

    Comment by Jac E — September 7, 2012 @ 12:35 pm

  5. Even easier – I just used a vegetable peeler and dug in a little deeper than if I were peeling :)

    Comment by bekky — September 7, 2012 @ 12:57 pm

  6. LOVE the entree idea, L! Thanks for sharing!

    Comment by bekky — September 7, 2012 @ 12:57 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Uses For Leftovers recipes you may enjoy:

Dill Roasted Carrots with Greek Yogurt | PDXfoodlove

Roasted Carrots with Dill and Greek Yogurt

I am pretty sure we ate more than a pound of carrots when I made these.

Leftover Cranberry Sauce Grilled Cheese | PDXfoodlove

Cranberry White Cheddar Grilled Cheese

Yesterday I posted about two fun non-recipe recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers. We really enjoyed both of them, but if you thought that granola took care of all of our cranberry sauce, well, you’ve got another think coming. I wanted to switch things up a little for lunch on Sunday. We’ve eaten almost all of the […]

Pie Milkshakes & Other Fun Ways to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers | PDXfoodlove

Two fun Thanksgiving leftover ideas: Pie Milkshake and Cranberry Granola Breakfast

Happy Sunday, everyone. I don’t know about you but having a few days off has been fun, restful, full of adventure and fun projects. Not to mention spending time with close friends at our annual Friendsgiving. I actually haven’t done a ton of shopping yet – but don’t worry, I will remedy that soon. Yesterday […]