In winter I grow tired of limp lettuce and woody tomatoes in my salad. It almost seems like a salad in winter makes you crave spring and summer even more. I turned to this zucchini salad one day when I felt like something fresh, but the grocery store didn’t have many fresh vegetables to offer.
I know what you are thinking – zucchinis are in season in summer – not winter! The zucchini has many great qualities and one of them is that is it a hearty vegetable that transports well and while it is certainly better in summer, it still tastes good in winter.
The key to making a great zucchini salad is to slice it very, very thinly so it can easily absorb the dressing, making it soft and juicy. For this a mandoline is wonderful, but if you aren’t lucky enough to own such a slicer then I recommend either a really sharp knife or a vegetable peeler.
adapted from Chocolat & Zucchini
- 2-3 zucchini (aim for small ones, as they are tastier)
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1.5 tsp red wine vinegar (or fruit based vinegar)
- salt & pepper
- fresh herbs (I used thyme)
- cheese (either a hard cheese like pecorino or parmesan or a soft crumbly cheese like goat)
Wash and thinly slice the zucchini so that it is paper thin. Toss it with oil and vinegar and salt and pepper. Let it sit a room temperature for about 20 minutes, so that it can absorb the dressing.
Before serving, toss again with herbs and crumbled or shaved cheese of your choice. I used an old goat gouda, which was very nice. If you are using a hard cheese, don’t add too much salt as they tend to be saltier.
This salad also keeps quite well and, unlike most, can be eaten the next day.